I just made my very first batch of Irish soda bread!
Now, I know this is not a true bread in the sense that it's made with yeast and takes hours to make. This stuff is really easy. But, I feel like bread making is one of the first steps to someday becoming completely self sufficient. Next step, urban chickens! (Brandon is obsessed with the idea of someday having backyard chickens.)
Plus, I know what went into this stuff. There's no high fructose corn syrup or weird preservatives. Yep, making my own bread really fits with my food philosophy.
I liked the flavor, it was hearty and had a thick cracker-like crust. It tasted delicious with a spread of pumpkin butter from Brandon's mom. (Thanks Mrs. Debbie.) (I love a good apple butter and have recently discovered pumpkin and sweet potato butters. Yum!) I don't think I would use this bread for a traditional sandwich. But honestly, I don't eat that many sandwiches anyway. It would be a nice open face sandwich bread.
It was easy to make this recipe fasting friendly. Every recipe I found calls for buttermilk, simply use soy milk mixed with vinegar to create vegan buttermilk. The reason buttermilk is used is because the acid in the milk and the baking soda in the bread mix together to leaven the bread. (Remember science class? I always loved the baking soda/ vinegar experiment!)
Here's the recipe I used from eatingwell.com. It was really simple, and came together in a matter of minutes.
I promise, you're gonna love this stuff!!!
PS: One of my favorite parts about making this bread is making the cross with a sharp knife before cooking. Ireland has a long Christian history, so this traditional detail made me smile. Here's an explanation of the meaning from one website:
"The cross on the soda bread has several explanations. Legend has it that folks did it to "let the devil out" while it's baking for good luck, and others say that it made it easy to divide into 4 pieces. It was also a symbol for a cross during Christian holidays."