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Soda Bread

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Soda Bread this home-style bread gets its tender crumb and rich brown crust from the 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda. This is one that you think of when you are thinking of home-style bread. This will soon become a family favorite.

Cooking Time: 25 - 30 minutes approximately

Ingredients:

3/4 cup warm milk not hot

1/4 cup water

1 teaspoon active dry yeast

4 teaspoons sugar

4 teaspoons butter softened

3 cups bread flour

3/4 teaspoons salt

1/4 baking soda

Preparation:

Pre heat oven to 350 F

In a large bowl, combine water, sugar, and yeast. Let rest for 5 min. or until yeast is bubbly.

Add remaining ingredients and stir until the dough starts to leave the sides of the bowl and form a ball. You may have to add more flour or water a little at a time. Dough should be soft but firm enough to knead.

Turn out the dough to a lightly greased surface. Lightly oil your hands, and knead it for 6 to 8 min., or until it begins to become smooth and supple.

Place the dough into a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with a warm damp cloth. Allow the dough to rise between 1 to 2 hours. Dough should be close to double in size. I place bread dough on top of my stove where it will stay warm. This decreases the proofing time.

Punch down the dough and shape it into an 8" log. Place the dough into a lightly oiled 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" loaf pan; cover the pan loosely with lightly oiled plastic wrap. Leave the bread to rise for about 1 to 2 hours more.  It will be ready to bake when it is about 1" above the rim of the pan.

Place the Soda Bread into the oven. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. The Soda Bread will sound hollow when tapped when it is ready.

Remove the loaf of bread from the oven, and turn it out of the pan onto a cooling rack or clean dry cloth. If you would like a softer crust rub the top of the loaf with butter while still hot.

Let cool completely before slicing.

You may wish to make a double recipe and freeze one of the uncooked loaves. Wrap the dough in several layers of plastic wrap before freezing. Allow to thaw completly before baking. This bread freezes very well.

Enjoy

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