I was startled to learn that soda bread was probably the invention of American Indians. I grew up thinking it was a legendary Irish creation. What really happened was the potato famine...
People needed something cheap and simple to eat. Irish wheat was soft and did not lend well to yeast. Baking soda was the answer to a quick and simple staple for the starving masses.
Marion Cunninghams soda bread is a simple revelation. This is how we got it to go gluten free;
- 2 cups Almond Flour
- 1 1/2 cup Arrowroot
- 1 1/2 cup Brown Rice Flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 cups buttermilk or whey
- 1 cup raisins, currants, or diced dried fruits (optional)
- 1 tsp Caraway seeds (optional)
Preheat oven to 375F. Grease an 8-inch glass pie plate or a baking sheet. Put the flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl and stir with a fork to blend. Add the buttermilk and stir vigorously until the dough comes together. Add dried fruit if using.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead gently for a minute. The dough will be soft and malleable, but, tantalizing as it is, it should not be overworked. Pat the dough into a disk about 6 inches across, slash an X across the top, cutting it about 1/2-inch deep, and place the dough in the greased pan or on the baking sheet.
Bake for about 50 minutes, or until the slash has widened and the bread is golden brown. Transfer to a rack to cool completely, then slice or wrap in a moist towel until ready to serve. Allow the bread to cool completely before serving. This bread keeps well for a couple days when tightly wrapped.
If you like this Irish treat, try these:
Photo Credit: Julie T Cecchini