December 16, 2016 — Bake
This is delicious—it’s almost like a tea cake—great eaten when still warm or made into toast with butter.
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500g organic spelt flour
400ml cultured buttermilk
1.5 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/4 tsp salt
50g soft unsalted butter
2 tbs caraway seeds
2 tbs Ling Heather Honey – or other honey
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The Irish are known for their soda bread. But why? The answer is in their wheat—it’s rather heavy and lacking in gluten. Flours high in gluten—like the strong bread flours of Canada—create stretchy doughs that are ideally leavened with yeast—low gluten flours will not leaven with yeast. So the use of chemical leavening agents in Ireland was therefore born out of necessity rather than a particular fondness for this type of loaf. Furthermore, the same heavy flour that is low in gluten also becomes easier to digest for those that have a gluten intolerance. An interesting bit of synchronicity.
For some, soda bread can be a bit tangy, so the soda should be used sparingly. You might try just using 1 tsp rather than 1.5 tsp. I’ve used spelt flour which has a wholesomeness about it without becoming too heavy and dense. I have included honey from The London Honey Company, which has a very pleasant affinity with caraway and helps soften the effect of the soda.
But here’s how to make my soda bread recipe:
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