I have food on the brain almost all the time. The other day, I was imagining baking bread, but the amount of time it would take waiting for it to rise kept putting me off. Then I remembered reading a recipe for soda bread a long, long time ago and decided to make some this weekend.
Not only does soda bread not involve waiting for the dough to rise, it has so few ingredients it’s almost ridiculous. One of those ingredients is buttermilk, which they don’t sell in too many places around here, but never fear…this is where the vinegar-or-lemon-juice-plus-milk solution comes into play.
I used gluten-free flour because we didn’t have two cups of all-purpose flour. Almost any flour works, really. And soda bread wouldn’t be soda bread without some soda.
I was a little disconcerted when the dough started looking like this…
…but in the end it all worked out. On a whim, I split it into a couple of little buns.
According to Irish lore, cutting an X-shape into the top of the bread lets out evil fairies. Okay, sure.
I’m pretty sure the fairies didn’t do anything bad to my buns, because they ended up being the epitome of cutedom.
The texture is far denser than normal bread, and the taste of soda is pretty noticeable. That said, I still really enjoyed these buns, especially when I slapped some tuna and cheese on one and nommed through it at breakneck speed.
Like I said above, most types of flour should work. Substitute in whole wheat or non-wheat flours if you want. If you don’t have buttermilk, you can use yogurt or make your own by adding half a teaspoon of vinegar or lemon juice to a cup of milk and letting it sit for about 15 minutes.
- 2 cups flour (see notes)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- A pinch of salt
- 1 cup buttermilk (see notes)
Preheat oven to 200°C (400°F) and prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper or greasing it.
Sift flour, baking soda and salt into a mixing bowl. Gradually add the buttermilk until the dough just comes together – you won’t need all of it. Shape the dough into a ball (or 4) and place onto the baking sheet.
Using scissors or a sharp knife, cut a deep X-shape into the top of each ball (about halfway through). Squish the ball slightly with your palm. Bake for a little under 30 minutes for smaller buns or around 35 minutes for a whole ball of bread.
Let cool completely before serving.
P.S. – I featured one of these soda buns on the first episode of a new YouTube collab I’m part of, The Codex Omnis. I’m going to be doing a weekly food segment! Excite.