In my previous two postings on traditional Irish brown soda bread, I neglected to include these thoughts. The recipe I shared is a classic recipe. It is simple, so simple the temptation is there to add a little bit of this and a little bit of that. My suggestion is to try my classic recipe as it is. Practise that and master it. Then, when you are comfortable with the procedure after a few tries,then maybe add something. For example, I added a half cup of oats. It really does’nt need to much of anything really. That’s why it is a classic, pure and simple.
Okay, here is where things can get a little sticky. I’ve just barely mixed the ingredients. You can see how wet it is. If you look closely, you can also see that the bowl is also wet. The bread dough will stick to the bowl and that’s the problem. How to extract it from the bowl in a cohesive mass onto a cutting board.
I have floured the edges of the bowl. With the help of a rubber spatula, I can lift up the side of the bread, slide some flour underneath gently and try to cover the base of the bowl with flour. I have to do this lifting action just enough to be able to cause the bread not to stick. Now, the dough you are looking at is the part that is going to the bottom or underpart of the bread when it hits the oven. Now to extract and remove. Turn the bowl over and the dough should come off a little easier.
If you get this far, your golden. I used my hands to form and bring together the loaf
The flour is very important. If you cannot find Odlum’s flour imported from Ireland, go with what you got. For me, most flours in markets in the US are milled too fine. And consequently, the “crumb” of the bread is too fine. It affects the texture of the bread .
I am fortunate enough to be able to purchase Odlum’s flour in my neighborhood. A 2 kilo bag (4.4 pounds) costs $6.50. A loaf of bread or 4 farls will cost a little over two bucks. I make it three times a week.
One thing to remember…….the bread will never come out exactly the same in appearance or taste.
Eat like a peasant. Thanks for reading.