A few weeks back my semi-regular dinner club was Irish themed. It was declared that everything on the table was so tasty I should put it all up on the blog. So in an effort to further spread this delectable joy, I present you with this soda bread.
I decided that an Irish themed meal would not be complete without a loaf of soda bread on the table, and one with a few savoury additions would go well with the other dishes on the table.
The 50% wholemeal flour in this was definitely to my liking, although soda bread can easily be done with just white flour. The onion and rosemary are of course also optional additions, but I really enjoyed the flavour they gave the bread, especially while it was still warm, smeared with some butter or guinness cheddar dip.
The main thing you want to be careful with making a quick bread is to go easy on the dough, this is not something that should be kneaded or worked. You want to stir/fold in the wet ingredients until everything has just come together, then turn out onto a floured surface and gently shape into a scraggy ball. The less you work it, the better the crumb will be. I also find using a dairy product in a dough a little deceptive; when bringing the dough together it looks much drier than you would expect, but then often ends up being quite a sticky dough. Be aware of this if you think you might need to add more liquid.
Finally, even if buttermilk is not a standard thing in your kitchen, I highly recommend grabbing some to make this bread, it really adds to the flavour.
I hope you give this a go!
Rosemary and Onion Soda Bread
- 250 g plain flour
- 250 g wholemeal flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp bicarb of soda
- 420 ml buttermilk
- 1 1/2 tbsp fresh rosemary
- 2 brown onions
- 1 tbsp butter
- Dice the two onions and put a frying pan on medium heat. Add the butter to the pan and once it has melted throw in the onions.
- Cook the onions until they are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes, reduce the heat if they start to brown at all. Scrape the onions into a bowl and allow to cool while you get on with the bread.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C.
- Add the two flours, salt and bicarb to a large bowl and combine well. Finely chop the rosemary and also add this to the bowl.
- Add the buttermilk and cooked onion and gently stir until just combined (over mixing will result in a brick, rather than a loaf of bread).
- Once you have a rough dough, turn out onto a lightly floured surface and shape into a round ball (it is totally fine if it looks a bit shaggy).
- Move the dough to a lined baking sheet and place in the oven for 35-45 minutes.
- The outside of the bread should be a nicely browned and it sounds hollow when you tap it.
- Let cool for half an hour or so before you dig in.