I happen to be Irish, so there's a bit of nostalgia laced, heritage based food that cycles through my kitchen each March. Irish soda bread is a quick treat that I like to whip up a few times each Spring and this year I thought I'd add a little extra flavor.
Maybe you grew up with this particular bread, I didn't. Oh I had heard the term before, but had an image of bread made with some syrupy sweet, carbonated soda pop in my head and it didn't seem all that appealing. It wasn't until I was out in the world on my own and working at learning how to feed myself and my family that I learned that is was baking soda that's referenced in the name. Now it's one of my favorite quick breads.
This is a yeast free bread, which means there's not much kneading to be done and you don't have to wait for the dough to rest, or rise, before baking. Rather than getting all of it's lift and internal bubbles from yeast, you're depending on the reaction between the baking soda and vinegar to keep your bread from being too dense. Just like your grade school, science fair volcano! The combination of baking soda and vinegar, which usually creates a frothy, bubbly mess, will aerate your dough for a soft and fluffy loaf. My co-workers even call this volcano bread! Fire Cider adds the slightest, subtle flavor to the bread.
- 1 cup of milk (soy or almond milk work well here, too)
- 2 Tbsp Original Fire Cider
- 3 cups AP flour
- 1 Tbsp maple sugar
- 1/2 tsp baking soda (be sure this is fresh for the best rise!)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C) Lightly grease a baking sheet or use your favorite silicone liner.
- Combine milk and vinegar, let that sit for about 10 minutes to curdle the milk.
- Mix together your flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt.
- Gradually stir in the curdled milk until your dough just comes together, then turn it out onto a well floured surface. Knead your dough until just combined and shape into a round.
- Place the dough on your cookie sheet and cut an X into the top to allow the release of steam.
- Bake until golden brown, about 40 minutes
- Remove from oven and let cool. Serve with butter, apple butter or the honey butter recipe below!
- 1 cup of unsalted butter at room temp. (You can substitute Coconut Oil here for a vegan-friendly version!)
- 1/3 cup African Bronze Honey (or the honey, or maple syrup, of your choice)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- I prefer a wooden spoon for applications like this but you can use a handheld or stand mixer here.
- In a large bowl beat the softened butter until smooth and creamy, add your honey and salt and continue mixing until well combined.
- Serve right away with fresh bread, on your favorite pancakes or waffles or place in an airtight jar and keep in your fridge for up to 2 weeks.