This is delicious – it’s almost like a tea cake – great eaten when still warm or made into toast with butter.
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
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.