I was one of those lucky ones who learned to cook while standing on a chair pushed up to the kitchen bench. Nana’s Irish Soda Bread was one of the first recipes that I mastered as a child.
I don’t ever remember my Irish Nana making this bread, although the recipe came from her family, it was always Mum quickly making it for our school lunches and snacks.
When we were getting ready to go camping, Mum would prepare this soda bread to the point where all she would have to add was the milk. Bringing the mix with us in a little bag or container, she would add milk and bake it in our camp oven or sometimes as a damper, pressed flat so it would cook all the way through, and then spiral-wrapped around sticks and toasted in the campfire.
This recipe delivers a traditional dense and moist quick bread that requires no rising time and just a few simple ingredients to make. A vegan version is just as tasty.
250g (2 cups) flour
20g (5 teaspoons) baking powder
25g (2 Tablespoons) sugar
4g (1 teaspoon) salt
60g (1/4 cup) cold butter
75g (1/2 cup) sultanas
75g (1/2 cup) currants
180ml (3/4 cup) milk
5ml (1 teaspoon) vinegar
- Preheat the oven to 180◦
- Grease or line with parchment an oven proof skillet or baking tray
- Stir together the milk and vinegar
- Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar
- Cut in the butter using a fork, two knives or a couple of quick bursts in a food processor
- Stir in the sultanas and currants
- Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in the thickened milk
- Stir together until just mixed.
- Knead the dough briefly to bring it together into a round ball then flatten the dough into a disk and place on the baking tray
- Bake for 20-30 minutes until the edges are crisp and the bread is golden brown on the bottom
- Immediately turn the bread out upside down onto a serving plate and spread the golden brown underside while still hot with a tablespoon or so of butter.
- Cut into wedges and serve with more butter