How to Make a Simple Soda Bread

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Yeast bread is common. I make it a good deal. Soda bread is quick to make, and can be great to have.

I have been baking a lot of yeast bread lately.  With work and family, I do not always have the ability to devote to making a yeast bread. The process is not hard, but I do have to pay attention to the steps, such as the rising.  Having a mixer with a dough hook allows me to skip the lengthy step of kneading the dough by hand. If I plan out the steps, I can have the bread made over night (using the cold rising method in a refrigerator). My work days begin around four in the morning. About six in the morning, I begin to work on lunches while waking others up. Last Friday, I realized that my wife and daughters had snacked on the last of the bread the night before, so I had to either bake bread, or find another school lunch. I decided upon soda bread, where I simplified the recipe.

    Bread is a basic food. I wonder why more people do not bake.  The ingredients are simple for any type of bread. We are told that we need to follow directions in the recipe for a good bread. I think that we are too concerned with the perfect or best bread. We make baking too hard when we focus on the specifics. Good bread should be a staple for the home cook. I did not have the correct ingredients for a proper soda bread. I had no buttermilk or butter. I could have made a buttermilk, but why worry. I prepared and baked my soda bread within thirty minutes, which also was not to the recipe. I thought sharing my adventure would encourage you to break bread with your own family.
    Soda bread consists of buttermilk, butter, salt, baking soda, and flour. I do not typically have buttermilk, and strangely, I did not have butter. With little time, I improvised. I took about a cup and a half of milk, a tablespoon of sugar, a dash of salt, two teaspoons of baking soda, three to four cups of sugar, and a cup of oil. I found that you have to be careful with the amount of baking soda. Too much, and you have a metallic taste in the bread. I add the sugar out of habit from baking corn bread. Having no melted butter, I used canola oil. I mixed this in a bowl till it was all combined.  No need for a mixer. I then took large balls for rolls. I fattened them out on an oiled baking sheet. I placed them in a cold oven, which I set to 425 degrees Fahrenheit for twenty minutes. If you bake, you may see two mistakes: the oven was not preheated; and soda bread takes longer to bake. I have heard that you save energy by not preheating the oven. I have taken to this method whenever using the oven, and I have not found any problems when baking. I also was not looking for the deep rich brown. I was fine with a nice browning. I did set the baking sheet on a lower rack.
    The soda bread came out fine. The wife and children really liked it. Was it the perfect soda bread? I guess not, but the flavor was wonderful, and I had a decent bread for the lunches. If I wanted, I could add other flavors to this bread. Spices and herbs will change the taste. I would not add them for bread intended for the school lunches (garlic in the bread for peanut butter and jelly sandwich?).  For a special dinner, I would add herbs from the garden.Brake bread with your family tonight.

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This site came out of my desire to write about my love of gardening, but also to connect it to my knowledge derived from home inspections. That is why I tied it to the home inspection site.If you have questions, you can email them to me (frank at For home inspections, call 713.781.6090.
Happy gardening, Frank


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