8 Aug 2010

Soda Farls

Every now and again my mum sends seasonal recipe booklets that she picks up at her local supermarket, though as with so many things these days, they're no longer free. More often than not these serve merely to allow me to indulge in food nostalgia (they're tied to the supermarket so a lot of the ingredients simply aren't available here in Japan), but every now and again there'll be something I can attempt to replicate in my Tokyo kitchen. These soda farls are one such recipe. 

The best thing about soda bread is that it comes together in no time - you can even make it with a hangover; I know, I've done it! There's no kneading to speak of and no yeast involved so you don't have to hang around waiting for the dough to rise, which translates into fresh bread on the table in less than an hour. 
Soda bread has its roots in Ireland and dates back to the 1800s when bread soda was first introduced to the Emerald Isle. It was originally cooked in big cast-iron pots over open peat fires because most people didn't have ovens. Some recipes have been passed down from one generation to the next, and soda farls (or rolls) are an important part of the traditional fried breakfast in some parts of Ireland. Apparently: "There is no bread to be had equal to it for invigorating the body, promoting digestion, strengthening the stomach, and improving the state of the bowels." That comes from an Irish farmers' magazine of 1836.
Now the science bit: it's traditionally made with buttermilk, not yogurt, but it's the lactic acid that counts; that reacts with the baking soda to form bubbles of gas (carbon dioxide), which cause the bread to rise. It's also why you use cake flour rather than bread flour, because cake flour contains gluten and so rises more easily. 
Soda bread is a bit like scones: it's best eaten straight out of the oven and won't last more than a couple of days, which is why I think these rolls work better than a loaf; soda loaves have a tendency to be very dry, though these are wonderfully cheesy, and I'm guessing that the cheese helps to keep them moist. 
I made a warm salad with avocado, salad spinach, bacon and cannellini beans with a dressing of olive oil and balsamic vinegar for the first round, and we spread cream cheese on the rolls. Any leftovers can be used the next day split, toasted, buttered and served topped with grilled bacon and oven-roasted cherry tomatoes. 

Soda Farls

450g plain flour, plus extra for kneading and dusting
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
150g red Cheddar, coarsely grated
284ml low-fat natural yogurt (or buttermilk, if you can find it)
3 tbsp semi-skimmed milk
2 tbsp wholegrain mustard

1. Preheat the oven to 220C. Mix the flour, salt, bicarbonate of soda and cheese in a large bowl.
2. Mix together the yogurt (or buttermilk), milk and mustard then pour into the bowl. Mix with a wooden spoon then, using your hands, bring together to make a soft dough. Knead lightly until smooth then shape into a 22cm round loaf.
3. Cut the round into eight wedges then transfer to a non-stick baking sheet. Sprinkle with a little flour and bake for 20-25 minutes until brown and crusty. Cool on a wire rack. 

薄力粉 450g
塩 小さじ1/2
ベーキングソーダ(重曹) 小さじ1
チェッダーチーズ(おろしたもの) 150g
ヨーグルト 280cc
粉マスタード 大さじ2


1. 薄力粉、塩、重曹を合わせてボールにふるい入れ、チーズを加えてよく混ぜる。
2. 中央をくぼませ、ヨーグルト、牛乳と粉マスタードを合わせたものを加える。(後で生地の堅さを調節するため、少し残して加える)
3. 木べら、または手でまわりの粉をくずしながら混ぜ合わせる。全体がまとまってきたら、粉気がなくなるまで軽くこねる。(こねるといっても、粉っぽさがなくなればそれでOK。決してこね過ぎないこと!まとめる、という感じで、手にべたつくぐらいでよい。)堅いようなら、残しておいたヨーグルト・牛乳を加え、柔らかければ、少々の打ち粉をして調節する。
4. ひとまとめにし約22cmの円形にしてから、ナイフなどで中央から放射線状に切り、8つのくさび型のような形にする。天板の中央にのせ、上から茶漉しなどで粉をふりかける。

For roasted tomatoes, place one or two packs of cherry tomatoes on a baking sheet and sprinkle with a little chopped fresh rosemary, some coarse sea salt and a drizzle of olive oil. Roast at 220C for 20 minutes until tender. Add a splash of balsamic vinegar and serve warm.

No comments:

Post a Comment