The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Soda Bread

Comerman's picture
Comerman

Soda Bread

Hi Folks,

I made soda bread which turned to look fantastic BUT when I cut into it it was a bit "doughy" in the middle and the rest just crumbled to pieces when cutting and buttering, any ideas whats going wrong??

The recipe is

Ingredients:

450g/1lb Odlums Self Raising Flour

1 Level Teaspoon Baking Powder

Pinch of Salt

2 Dessertspoons Sugar

50g/2oz Margarine or Butter

1 Egg (beaten)

300ml/½pt Milk (approx) 

125g/4oz Shamrock Sultanas or Raisins

Lechem's picture
Lechem (not verified)

You've got self raising flour + Baking powder

Comerman's picture
Comerman

Is that it Lechem or have you any suggestions? Maybe I should of mentioned I am not a professional, just an ordinary Joe soap that likes cooking.

Lechem's picture
Lechem (not verified)

 

  • Preferably plain flour (no self raising agents)
  • Bicarbonate of Soda (You can control how much goes in however if you use self raising it'll work but you don't need extra)
  • You're going to need buttermilk or substitute. A good substitute would be milk with a teaspoon or two of lemon juice
  • Salt

These are the basics for soda bread. Here is a good video for you https://youtu.be/l0YITtyh5ns

Comerman's picture
Comerman

Thanks Lechem I'll have a go and report back. Just on the recipe I posted that's from the Odlums Flour website which is surprising.

Lechem's picture
Lechem (not verified)

There was soda in the flour and extra soda added and on top of that the acidic buttermilk was missing. If that is the recipe it does sound confusing.

Flour

Bicarb of soda

salt

and something acidic

That is the recipe of a soda bread. Everything else is in addition. It's a quick mix, don't over knead, shape, score and bake.

I do like the recipe in the video and please report back with your thoughts once you've tried it.

bread_boy123's picture
bread_boy123

I see that this is a recipe for soda bread but whenever I add soda (this is usually something like Coke or Fanta) it ruined my bread and the texture of it and it did not TASTE GOOD at all. If you have any advice to which i could improve my methods of making soda bread then that would be much appreciated. 

Lots of love

Bread Boy123 

Lechem's picture
Lechem (not verified)

Bicarbonate of Soda and then it is activated by something acidic like buttermilk.

Try using the recipe in the video and see how it turns out.

FloridaShark's picture
FloridaShark

This is the recipe that I used for my bread that I made on Saturday. I changed it up a bit by adding dried cranberries and some caraway seed. I made a similar one last year. I think by using the sour dough starter it keeps it moist without it crumbling apart. This one was moist and delicious.

https://www.turnips2tangerines.com/2014/03/sourdough-irish-soda-bread.html

 

 

Lechem's picture
Lechem (not verified)

And adding a sourdough starter will be the something acidic.

Lazy Loafer's picture
Lazy Loafer

Oooh, that's a lovely loaf, Shark! I like the add-ins too. I made soda bread on Saturday too - used the brown soda bread recipe from Cooks Illustrated. It ended up pretty dense with all that whole wheat flour and added wheat bran and germ, but very tasty.

To the original post - yes, something acidic is required to activate baking soda (bicarbonate of soda), so buttermilk is traditionally used. You can also add some lemon juice to regular milk and let it curdle. Or sourdough starter. :)

Lechem - many quick bread and muffin recipes have both baking powder and baking soda, so a self-raising flour (with baking powder) in combination with baking soda is not so unusual.

Lechem's picture
Lechem (not verified)

It was just something that jumped out at me that it was in the flour and it was being added in again. Thought it might have contributed to the crumbliness or something. Sometimes too much rising power may be less beneficial.

I was working my way through the recipe getting the "obvious" out the way. The lack of buttermilk or some other catalyst was more important.

Lazy Loafer's picture
Lazy Loafer

Yes, and now that I look again I see that the original recipe had both self-raising flour (with baking powder) and added baking powder! No soda, meaning no acid required I suppose. A bit strange for a soda bread recipe!

Wendy (not Leslie) :)

Lechem's picture
Lechem (not verified)

My apologies Wendy. Comes from being over tired and discussing many topics with many fellow TFL'ers.

I think I'm going to call it a day.

Have a good evening Wendy :)

P.s. I would think the buttermilk would add texture as well as being a catalyst. I also like the idea of using sourdough starter which can add flavour too. Haven't done a soda bread in a long time so perhaps i'll leave this one to you.

Lazy Loafer's picture
Lazy Loafer

That's all right Abe, the more discussion that goes on here, the more interesting and useful it is! The buttermilk is, I think, what makes soda bread so tasty so I think I would always use it regardless.

Early in the day here on the West Coast; you have a good evening and I hope it doesn't snow there anymore until next winter! Stay warm... :)

NeilM's picture
NeilM

Nice :)

Soda Bread my Next journey.

Comerman's picture
Comerman

this is the other brown soda bread recipe I use and it works fine compared to the white soda recipe posted earlier

  • 350g/12 oz Odlums Coarse Wholemeal Flour
  • 125g/4 oz Odlums Cream Plain Flour
  • 15g/½ oz Odlums Wheatgerm (optional)
  • 275-425ml/½-¾ pt Buttermilk or Sour Cream
  • 1 tsp Odlums Bread Soda
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • 25g/1 oz Odlums Wheat Bran (optional)
Lechem's picture
Lechem (not verified)

The soda issue wasn't an issue. I stand corrected but just thought it might be worth mentioning.

Now this recipe has the all important buttermilk or sour cream in it.

MonkeyDaddy's picture
MonkeyDaddy

my soda bread when made with buttermilk.  But once when I didn't have any, I used the old standby substitute of sweet milk with a little lemon juice added (1 Tbsp per cup).  The texture is much more to my liking.  And the lemon juice is unrecognizable in the bread, yet adds a "brightness" to it.

     --Mike