Using bicarbonate of soda instead of yeast to leaven this spin-on-the traditional Irish soda bread, makes it an excellent, fuss-free recipe to try if you’re new to bread baking.
Rosemary, brown butter and cracked black pepper soda bread
- 170g butter + extra, to serve
- 1,6kg cake flour + extra, to dust
- 180g oats
- 45ml (3 tbsp) sugar
- 45ml (3 tbsp) fresh rosemary, finely chopped
- 30ml (2 tbsp) baking powder
- 15ml (1 tbsp) bicarbonate of soda
- 15ml (1 tbsp) salt
- 15ml (1 tbsp) freshly ground black pepper
- 1,3L buttermilk
Preheat the oven to 190°C and grease and dust a large baking tray with flour. Place the butter in a saucepan and melt over medium heat until it begins to foam and turns golden brown, about 3 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly, about 5 minutes.
Stir the flour, oats, sugar, rosemary, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt and pepper together. Pour over the cooled butter, add the buttermilk and mix well to combine – you should have a fairly stiff dough.
Knead your dough on a floured surface until smooth and elastic, 3 – 5 minutes. On your prepared baking tray, shape the dough into a wreath of about 30cm in diameter. It’s easiest to do this by shaping the dough into a long cylinder of about 6cm – 8cm thickness, using lots of flour as you go, and then joining the ends of the cylinder to create a wreath.
Using a sharp knife, cut about 5 slashes randomly around the top of your dough (this will give it a textured appearance once baked) and dust the wreath with flour. Bake until the bread is golden and it sounds hollow when tapped, 45 minutes – 1 hour. Serve with softened butter.