Whole Wheat Irish Soda bread is a simple and quick yeast-free bread made using pantry staple ingredients. A traditional hearty mix-and-bake bread can be ready in as little as 1 hour.
What is Soda Bread
Soda bread is a quick bread made using Soda as the leavening agent. One of the most popular breads in Ireland. Called Irish Soda Bread and the soda is referred to as Bread Soda.
The texture of Soda Bread
Soda bread typically has a rough texture. It is made using coarse flour, i.e. either whole wheat or a whole meal. Whole wheat flour has more protein content than all-purpose or white flour and is darker in color.
Flours used in Soda Bread
Whole wheat or whole meal flour is the main flour used in bread. When baked with this bread it is called Brown soda bread. Brown soda bread at times also have a mix of whole wheat and all-purpose flour.
One can use all-purpose flour completely too instead of using whole wheat or whole meal. It is simply called White Soda Bread.
Oats are often added to this bread and for the liquid buttermilk is added. Buttermilk reacts with the soda for the rise. There are no eggs or sugar used in the recipe but it can be added.
When sugar is added or if the bread is sweetened it is referred to as Wheaten bread which is richer than soda bread. Traditionally this soda bread was baked as a flatbread on a grill. The griddle cake or farl is a flattened type of bread cooked on a griddle. It is also referred to as soda farl and is quite common in the Northern parts of Ireland. Did you try Boxty-Irish Potato Flatbread which is cooked on a griddle?
I love this bread probably due to its coarse texture. Yes, I love brown bread or bread made with wholemeal or whole flour. Most of my restaurant trips earlier used to be this bread and some soup. I was meaning to give this bread a try for ages but never did. So finally I did bake it and I am glad I did.
I adapted this recipe from a pocket Bread & Baking Book from the Irish Granny’s. The original recipe had a mix of whole wheat and all-purpose flour used. I have simply used whole wheat flour. I have also used oats in this recipe for the crunch and added nutrients.
For liquid, I have replaced the typical buttermilk, which is made using milk and water. I have made it using homemade buttermilk made using yogurt and water.
The texture of Whole Wheat Irish Soda Bread
This Whole wheat Irish soda bread was quick to make. The texture of the bread was soft and moist. Of course, it had its rough wholemeal texture, but what I mean here with soft and moistness is that the bread was not chewy. I enjoyed it lightly toasted with some sunflower seeds butter and some with green tomato chutney for my breakfast. We even had a meal with this with some Irish Leek and potato soup.
Can we freeze this bread?
Yes, this bread can be frozen. Let the bread cool completely. Slice and freeze. When required simply toss it in the toaster.
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Whole Wheat Irish Soda Bread
- 500 grams of Whole Wheat flour / Whole Meal Flour
- ¼ cup oats
- 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1 teaspoon salt – to taste
- 1 tbsp vinegar + 2 tbsp Yogurt + 350 ml room temperature water -If buttermilk is made using yogurt. Vegans can use vegan yogurt.
- 375 ml Buttermilk -If Store brought
- Extra water or buttermilk if required.
- 1 tablespoon oats for garnish
Buttermilk from yogurt
- In a bowl or a glass add the yogurt, water, and vinegar.
- Mix everything and keep it aside.
- Preheat the oven to 200 Deg C/ 400 Deg F
Dough for Bread
- In a large bowl, sift in the flour, baking soda, and salt.
- Add in the Oats and mix all the dry ingredients.
- Slowly add the wet ingredients and mix to form a dough.
- The dough should not be too wet.
- Do not knead much, we just need to form a dough.
- Turn the dough on a lightly dusted surface.
- Make a round ball from the dough.
- Put a cross or make cuts on top of the bread.
- Sprinkle some oats on the dough.
- Put the shaped loaf on a lightly dusted cast iron pan or a baking tray.
- Bake in a preheated oven for 20-25 mins or until the loaves sound hollow when tapped at the bottom.
- Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool completely.
- Standard US Size cups and spoons were used. 1 cup = 237 ml, 1 teaspoon = 5 ml
- All ovens are different. Please keep an eye after 15 minutes of baking.
- Whole wheat flour can be replaced with all-purpose flour.
- A mix of all-purpose and whole wheat flour can be used too.
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