Sunday, June 14, 2015

Baking Class: Savory Soda Bread

After I made my first Irish soda bread for St. Patrick's Day a couple of years ago I started looking for a more healthful, savory version.  I really liked the raisin-sweetened white flour version, but like most sweet treats it is meant to be enjoyed occasionally, as a treat.  But because it was so easy to make and had such a wonderful bread-like consistency achieved without yeast or long risings, I wanted to see if I could find a savory version that contained whole wheat flour and no sugar.

An internet search brought up a recipe from Claire Robinson, who had (has?) a show on the food channel called "5 Ingredient Fix."  Not counting salt and pepper and maybe a few other ingredients considered staples, the show features recipes that can be made from 5 or less ingredients.  When I first started watching it I assumed it would involve opening a lot of boxes and cans a la Sandra Lee, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that the recipes contained fresh ingredients and involved actual cooking.  And what she was cooking looked good.

I was not particularly tempted to try any of them, but when I went searching for a savory soda bread recipe that did not contain raisins and found this recipe I decided to give it a try, based on what I had seen from her show.

And I was not disappointed.  It was delicious.  And ridiculously easy.  It has become one of my staple bread recipes.  It is the perfect recipe for those times when I have neither the time nor the inclination to play with yeast but I want bread.  And it holds up beautifully to sandwiches and toasting.

When I am making it just for myself I will halve the recipe and I have enough bread for about a week.  From the thought of bread to a lovely loaf cooling on your counter in less than an hour, this is the one that you want.

Home Cookin Chapter:  Breads and Muffins

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading surface
3 cups whole-wheat flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 tsp kosher salt
2 cups buttermilk

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, baking soda, oats and salt. Pour in most of the buttermilk and mix well, adding more buttermilk, if needed, to form a soft dough. Turn out onto a floured surface and lightly knead into a shapeable dough. Avoid overworking it.

Shape the dough into a round disk shaped loaf and cut a deep "X" in the top with a sharp knife. Put the dough on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 7 minutes at 425 degrees F. Lower the oven temperature to 375 degrees F. and bake another 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the bread from the oven to a cutting board. Cool slightly before cutting and enjoy warm!


Exported from Home Cookin 8.63 (


Anonymous said...

hey, it's nicole I lost your email, how do i email you? I looked on your blog but i can't find anything.

dejamo said...

Hi, Nicole. I've been thinking about you lately and wondering how you have been doing. I have updated my profile so there is now an option to contact me via email there [].

Eve said...

Hi there,
I stumbled on your blog (trying to remember how-- think it was a Madjur Jaffrey recipe we had a mutual fondness for) and then kept reading. I think I will try this bread this very night, because I am lazy and love homemade bread and have buttermilk that needs using up: a trifecta! Thanks from a new reader.

dejamo said...

Hi Eve,

I hope you like the bread - it is still a staple of mine and a great way to use up buttermilk. Thanks for stopping by my blog!

Eve said...

I finally got around to writing about my experience with the bread... basically boils down to: the bread does not taste wildly different from the soda bread I've been making for a long time, but I like your blog and plan to continue to read it. :) And I put you on my very short blogroll. Link here: Thanks!

dejamo said...

Hi Eve. I guess I'm not surprised my recipe doesn't taste much different from other soda breads. I like it because it whips up so quickly, but if your recipe is easier than mine then it sounds like a keeper. I will have to try it sometime, although I do like that mine is healthier, although that is not always the most important aspect of a dish. :)

Thanks for the link in your post and for putting me on your blogroll. I visited your blog after you left your first comment and enjoyed what I read, and will definitely be back to read more.

Eve said...

Healthier is definitely worth something! (Also, as I said, using up buttermilk is a big plus.) But ultimately I care more about writing than recipes. Recipes are a dime a dozen, but I enjoy people's individual voices when they write about food. Actually (if I ever have any readers!) I would love to see guest "food diaries."

dejamo said...

Guest food diaries would be interesting, Eve. I kind of got mesmerized reading yours. And I am so pleased that you like my writing. Most of the folks who land on my blog came because they googled a specific recipe and not to see what I have written, so it is nice to get that feedback!

If you would like to stay in touch, you can email me directly at

Eve said...

Cool. :)

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