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My Hubby is Irish, so many many years ago I learned how to make proper Irish Soda Bread, Wheaten Bread & Soda Farls. Since winter is well and truly on its way, and it is lashing with rain outside I thought I would make us some. I thought I would share my recipe and do a show and tell.
- 250g Plain Flour
- 1 teaspoon of Baking Soda
- ½ teaspoon of salt (I use sea salt)
- 250ml Buttermilk
Place all dry ingredients into a bowl and mix.
Make a well and add the buttermilk, although do not add it all as you can keep adding whilst mixing rather than make it too wet.
Mix and knead the dough on a floured surface, but be gentle, you really only want to knead it into shape. Slice a cross into the top with a sharp knife that has been floured.
Pop the farl onto a hot griddle pan, or if you only have a frying pan, that will work nicely, but again, be gentle, don’t go in at too high a temperature or you will end up with a crispy dough ball. I use a tepanyaki grill plate to make mine and have the temperature about 150c.
Partway through cooking flip it over and cook the other side.
Again flip it over, and tap the base to see if it is cooking, it should make a hollow sound, and if not carry on cooking.
As you can see the farl has split where the score marks were and have browned nicely. Finally, when you are happy with it, wrap it in a tea cloth and set aside, this will ensure that it finishes off cooking and traps moisture, and makes it chewy, and brings out the subtle soda taste. I used to use a proper Irish Linnen tea cloth, but alas it bit the dust some time ago.
It should take about 20 minutes to cook through.
Once it has cooled split it into four, then slice through the side horizontally, so you end up with 8 quarters if you cut it all at once. Toast and enjoy with lashings of butter and a slice of mature cheese like cheddar. Also delicious with bacon and egg.
Growing up in the country there were many smells/fragrances about, from livestock to equine to rapeseed, but there are other smells that also take me back in time. The smell of an outboard motor reminds me of a holiday when I was about 10 in my uncle’s speedboat, fishing in the North Atlantic. Lavender, scones, evaporated milk, streaky bacon all remind me of being in my maternal Nans kitchen, apricot brandy and advocate of her at Christmas.
There are fragrances that I just cannot describe, but on the odd occasion, I smell them and whoosh, I am in the 70’s at my paternal Nans home, part of the fragrance is wax and a metallic element, but I have never been able to discover what.
Gunpowder has memories of clay pigeon shooting.
There are many fragrances that take me back, some with fondness others I lament, but all, memories of my past.