The latest culinary export, as you have probably guessed, was soda bread. I have yet to achieve perfection, but this one was good. I think (and hope) that I may be getting close.
There is something therapeutic about making your own bread. It seems to establish a connection with the past.
As I was mixing the dough I started to think about my great-grandmother, the only grandmother I can remember. She died when I was thirteen, but she would have been ninety-nine next week. I still regret that I was never old enough to really talk to her, or ask questions. It's difficult at times to accept that there are so many things I'll never know.
But I digress. On to the recipe.
(by Maura Laverty, paraphrased a bit by yours truly)
1 lb flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon bread soda (baking soda)
Buttermilk to mix
Sift the dry ingredients together several times. Form a well in the center and pour in the buttermilk gradually, mixing in flour from the sides. The dough should not be too dry, but too much liquid will make the bread heavy. I used just under 2 cups (16 oz).
Knead lightly for a few minutes. Form into a round cake.* Cross the top, brush with milk, and put into a hot oven on a baking tin for about 45 minutes at 450 degrees F.
*Note: This hasn't been working for me as well as I would like. I am going to try putting it in a bread pan next time.