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Mar 9, 2011 12:38 AM

soda bread -

I'm committed to golden raisons and caraway seeds but some recipes add cake flour to 'soften the crumb' and others suggest whole wheat flour. I see the amount of buttermilk debated and defended. Would appreciate your best tips.

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    This is so easy and so good. You can certainly add in whatever you choose, no need for cake flour and as you stated, there is a range given for the buttermilk. I think that's just the nature of the bread and you need to use a bit of judgement. You want a wet dough but one that can be handled to a certain degree, but not too much. Just enough to get it into shape and into pan. I usually make mine in a 9x5 loaf pan instead of the traditional free form round.

    Good luck!

    1. I always use golden raisins and caraway seeds too. I also bake mine in a cast iron fry pan with oatmeal sprinkled on the bottom of the pan. Yum, I think I might just have to make one now!

      1 Reply
      1. re: birdmonkey

        I'm liking the idea of the cast iron pan with oatmeal on the bottom. thank you

      2. I just made soda bread yesterday. I used kefir instead of buttermilk, and it came out great. It's 100% whole grain, but doesn't taste it, because I used white whole wheat flour, along with oat flour. Here's a link to the picture if you want to see how it turned out:
        Let me know if you make this!

        Whole Grain Irish Soda Bread

        3 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
        1 cup oat flour (or finely ground oatmeal
        )1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
        1 t. baking powder
        1 tsp. salt
        1 1/2 teaspoons caraway seeds
        ¾ cup raisins
        2 cups lowfat buttermilk or kefir
        2 tablespoons honey

        Preheat the oven to 375.

        Mix the flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Stir in the raisins and caraway seeds. In a separate bowl, whisk the buttermilk or kefir and the honey. Stir into the dry mixture, mixing only until the dough just comes together. Transfer to a floured surface and form into a round loaf. Don’t overmix, or the bread will be tough.

        Place on a lightly greased cast iron skillet or baking sheet. Score a deep X in the top of the dough. Bake for 45 minutes, or until the loaf sounds hollow when you tap the bottom. Cool before slicing.