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Soda bread
Ben W Bell Soda Bread Farl 05 June 2007.jpg
A soda farl; made by cutting a flattened round of dough into four pieces, then baking.
Type Quick bread
Main ingredients Flour, sodium bicarbonate, salt, buttermilk
Cookbook:Soda bread  Soda bread
Whole wheat soda bread (known as wheaten bread in parts of Ireland)
Polish flat soda bread (known as Proziaki in Podkarpacie)

Soda bread (Irish: arán sóide, Scots: fardel, Serbian: česnica/чесница) is a variety of quick bread traditionally made in a variety of cuisines in which sodium bicarbonate (otherwise known as baking soda) is used as a leavening agent instead of the more common yeast. The ingredients of traditional soda bread are flour, bread soda, salt, and buttermilk. The buttermilk in the dough contains lactic acid, which reacts with the baking soda to form tiny bubbles of carbon dioxide. Other ingredients can be added such as butter, egg, raisins , or nuts.

Origin[edit]

During the early years of European settlement of the Americas, settlers and some groups of Indigenous peoples of the Americas used soda or pearl ash, more commonly known as potash (pot ash) or potassium carbonate, as a leavening agent (the forerunner to baking soda) in quick breads.[1] In the US, soda breads were first publicised by Amelia Simmons as a quick and cheap method of bread making in her book American Cookery,[2] published in 1796. By 1824, The Virginia Housewife by Mary Randolph was published containing a recipe for Soda Cake.[3]

In Europe, soda breads began to appear in the mid-19th century when bicarbonate of soda first became available for use as a raising agent. Breads, griddle cakes and scones with bicarbonate of soda and cream of tartar or tartaric acid became popular in Austria, Polish cuisine and in the British Isles.[4] Traditional soda bread, eaten in Serbian cuisine, also uses bicarbonate of soda, particularly the traditional česnica (Serbian Cyrillic: Чесница), a soda bread made at Christmas.

Ireland[edit]

Home-made Irish brown soda bread

In Ireland, the flour is typically made from soft wheat; so soda bread is best made with a cake or pastry flour (made from soft wheat), which has lower levels of gluten than a bread flour. In some recipes, the buttermilk is replaced by live yogurt or even stout. Bakers recommend the minimum amount of mixing of the ingredients before baking; the dough should not be kneaded.

Various forms of soda bread are popular throughout Ireland. Soda breads are made using wholemeal, white flour, or both. In Ulster, the wholemeal variety is usually known as wheaten bread and normally sweetened, while the term "soda bread" is restricted to the white savoury form. In the southern provinces of Ireland, the wholemeal variety is usually known as brown bread and is almost identical to the Ulster wheaten. In some parts of Fermanagh, the white flour form of the bread is described as fadge. [5] [6]

The soda farl or "griddle cakes", "griddle bread" (or "soda farls" in Ulster) take a more rounded shape and have a cross cut in the top to allow the bread to expand. The griddle cake or farl is a more flattened type of bread. It is cooked on a griddle, allowing it to take a more flat shape and split into four sections. The soda farl is one of the distinguishing elements of the Ulster fry, where it is served alongside potato bread, also in farl form.[7]

Scotland[edit]

In Scotland, varieties of soda breads and griddle sodas include bannocks and farls (from fardel: Scots for a fourth), soda scones or soda farls using baking powder or baking soda as a leavening agent giving them a light and airy texture.[8][9][10]

Bannocks are flat cakes of barley or oatmeal dough formed into a round or oval shape, then cooked on a griddle (or girdle, in the Scots). The most authentic versions are unleavened, but from the early 19th century bannocks have been made using baking powder, or a combination of baking soda and buttermilk or clabbered milk.[8] Before the 19th century, bannocks were cooked on a bannock stane (Scots for stone), a large, flat, rounded piece of sandstone, placed directly onto a fire, then used as a cooking surface.[11] Several varieties of bannock include Selkirk bannocks, beremeal bannocks, Michaelmas bannock, Yetholm bannock, and Yule bannock.[8]

The traditional soda farl is used in the Full Scottish breakfast along with the potato scone (Scots: tattie scone).

Serbia[edit]

Members of a Serbian family break soda bread[citation needed] or česnica at a Christmas dinner

In Serbian tradition, soda bread is prepared by various rules and rituals[citation needed]. A coin is often put into the dough during the kneading; other small objects may also be inserted. At the beginning of Christmas dinner, the česnica is rotated three times counter-clockwise, before being broken among the family members. The person who finds the coin in his piece of the bread will supposedly be exceptionally lucky in the coming year. Before baking, the upper surface of the loaf may be inscribed with various symbols,[12] such as a Christogram, or stars, circles, and impressions of keys or combs.[13]

Australia[edit]

Damper is a traditional Australian bread prepared in a similar style to the pan breads found in North American and native Inuit cuisine. First documented in 1827 and prepared by farm-men, damper was a quick and easy way to prepare bread in the Australian bush.[14] The word damper derives from the English word ‘snack’ or to dampen the flour in the fire or one's appetite.[15]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.davidwalbert.com/2010/02/03/early-american-gingerbread-cakes/
  2. ^ Simmons, Amelia; Mary Tolford Wilson (1984) [1958]. The First American Cookbook (1984 reprint ed.). Mineola, NY: Dover. ISBN 0-486-24710-4. 
  3. ^ The Virginia Housewife by Mary Randolph 1824
  4. ^ English Bread and Yeast Cookery, Elizabeth David [Penguin:Middlesex England] 1977 (p. 517-8)
  5. ^ "Fermanagh Gold Thread". 
  6. ^ "Irish Blessings Tours". 
  7. ^ Ulster Fry: Channel 4
  8. ^ a b c "Bannock". Practically Edible: The Web's Biggest Food Encyclopaedia. Retrieved 2008-10-18. 
  9. ^ Ingram, Christine; Jennie Shapter (2003). BREAD: the breads of the world and how to bake them at home. (Originally published as The World Encyclopedia of Bread and Bread Making.) London: Hermes House. p. 54. ISBN 0-681-87922-X. 
  10. ^ Clayton, Bernard Jr. (2003). Bernard Clayton's New Complete Book of Breads. New York: Simon & Schuster. p. 555. ISBN 0-7432-3472-3. 
  11. ^ Feilden, Rosemary (1999). "Bannock Stane at Aberdeen University's Virtual Museum". Aberdeen University. Retrieved 2009-11-12. 
  12. ^ Plotnikova, A. A. (2001). "Чесница". In Svetlana Mikhaylovna Tolstaya and Ljubinko Radenković. Словенска митологија: енциклопедијски речник [Slavic mythology: encyclopedic dictionary] (in Serbian). Belgrade: Zepter Book World. pp. 577–78. ISBN 86-7494-025-0. 
  13. ^ Vukmanović, Jovan (1962). "Božićni običaji u Boki Kotorskoj" [Christmas traditions in the Bay of Kotor]. Zbornik za narodni život i običaje Južnih Slovena (in Serbian) (Zagreb: The Yugoslav Academy of Sciences and Arts) 40: 491–503. Retrieved 2010-01-04. 
  14. ^ Austral English: A Dictionary of Australasian Words, Phrases and Usages By Edward Ellis Morris Cambridge University Press, 2011 p114
  15. ^ One continuous picnic: a gastronomic history of Australia By Michael Symons Melbourne Univ. Publishing, 2007. p31[no source I can find states this bread was brought over to Australia by Irish immigrants]

External links[edit]


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3696 news items

Irish Independent

Irish Independent
Sun, 10 May 2015 03:39:35 -0700

While giving a presentation for her charity Fight the Lady Killers in Washington DC last week, the American songstress dished about her love of soda bread to the Irish Ambassador for the US Anne Anderson. The Way We Were singer was thrilled the ...

Irish Independent

Irish Independent
Sun, 10 May 2015 18:32:08 -0700

Spelt Soda Bread. This is a traditional wholemeal loaf for nursing mamas. Aside from its avowed lactating abilities (I almost wish I hadn't written that), the spices are crazy delicious when socialised with wholewheat. You'll wonder why you've never ...

IrishCentral (blog)

IrishCentral (blog)
Tue, 19 May 2015 01:29:17 -0700

Who knew that the one and only Barbra Streisand has a hankering for Irish soda bread? She shared her love of the beloved Irish staple while meeting with Irish Ambassador to the U.S. Anne Anderson at a recent gathering of the Women's Heart Alliance in ...

Good Food

Good Food
Fri, 08 May 2015 00:46:14 -0700

A massive loaf of soda bread sits on the counter and two chefs occupy the very small kitchen. Brendan Nolan and Adam Davis cooked together at Forbes and Burton in Darlinghurst before setting up their own place. The name comes from the Darling Nursery, ...

Today.com

Today.com
Tue, 10 Mar 2015 12:36:48 -0700

With about five minutes of prep involved (and no rise time at all), it's startling easy, yet an impressive addition to any St. Patrick's Day feast. So if you're heading to a St. Patty's party, volunteer to bring the soda bread and give one of these ...

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Wed, 06 May 2015 07:01:35 -0700

The Bon Appetit article was written by Andrew McCarthy, "Pretty in Pink" heartthrob turned travel writer. I giggled when I saw the byline, because I distinctly remember an even older article he wrote for the magazine on finding the perfect Irish soda ...

PEOPLE Great Ideas

PEOPLE Great Ideas
Wed, 11 Mar 2015 11:28:19 -0700

So the star of Create TV's Back to Basics, chef Kevin Dundon, created a brown Irish soda bread made with Guinness just for PEOPLE. “It has a firm and crusty exterior and a spongy center, which makes it nice and moist,” he says. And while you're ...

KQED

KQED
Mon, 16 Mar 2015 16:50:56 -0700

Back when I worked as a professional baker at La Farine in Rockridge, we made magnificent loaves of Irish soda bread–rich with butter, eggs, sugar, and raisins or even chopped dried apricots–which were quickly snapped up (and truly incredible fresh out ...
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