Soured Cream Soda Bread

I have a passion for Irish bread and always bring some back when I visit Dublin. The true Irish way of making this is with soured unpasteurised milk or buttermilk. The latter is available but not can't always be found in a hurry, so here I have used soured cream thinned down with water, which works perfectly. 

If you can't get soured cream use 10 fl oz (275 ml) milk and 2 teaspoons cream of tartar in addition to the soda. Soda bread is best eaten as fresh as possible: it's not a keeping loaf at all though I'm sure there won't actually be any left to keep!

Makes 1 loaf

This recipe is taken from Delia Smith’s Complete Illustrated Cookery Course.

Soured Cream Soda Bread
 1 lb (450 g) wholemeal flour
 2 level teaspoons salt
 1 level teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
 5 fl oz (150 ml) soured cream
 Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 7, 425°F (220°C).
You will also need a greased baking sheet.


Begin by mixing the flour, salt and bicarbonate of soda thoroughly in a bowl. Then in a jug whisk the soured cream and 5 fl oz (150 ml) water together and stir this mixture into the flour, together with 2-3 further tablespoons of water if it needs it.

Knead the dough lightly (into a round ball) so as to get the surface smooth, then put it on to the prepared baking sheet. Cut halfway through the loaf with a sharp knife one way, then do the same the other way, forming a cut cross which will form the loaf into four crusty sections.

Bake the loaf in the top half of the oven for 30 minutes – covering the top with foil for the last 5 minutes of the baking time if the crust looks like it's getting too dark. Cool on a wire rack for a minimum of 15 minutes before eating. This is delicious cut in thick slices, buttered and spread with lemon curd or honey.

If you don't like a very crisp crust, wrap the bread in a tea towel while it cools, so that the steam it gives off softens the crust a little.

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