Fruit Soda Bread
What you’ll need
Lightly floured baking tray.
- 12 oz plain flour
- 3 oz raisins
- 1 tbsp caster sugar
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda (too much turns bread yellow)
- ½ tsp cream of tartar (keeps the bread white – is optional)
- Pinch of salt
- Approximately ¼ – ¾ pint buttermilk
- Preheat oven to 220C or 200C Fan.
- Sieve the flour, baking soda and cream or tartar into a large bowl.
- Add the raisins, salt and sugar and aerate well with hands.
- Make a well in the centre and add half of the buttermilk at first, bring together with your hand and keep adding enough buttermilk to make a soft dough (almost wet).
- Turn out onto a well floured surface.
- Bring it together very lightly into a ball and place on a flour-dusted baking tray, make a cross with a sharp knife. And then a little dent in each corner to let the fairies out!
- Bake for approximately 25mins . In a conventional oven at 220C for 10 minutes then reduce temp to 200C.
- You can turn the loaf upside down for the last 5 minutes.
- The top should be golden and the base should sound hollow when tapped.
- Cool on a rack (wrapped in a clean tea towel if you prefer not to have a hard crust)
Cream of tartar is an acid and reacts with bicarbonate of soda to raise a mixture. Bicarbonate of soda is an alkali and reacts with an acid (buttermilk or lemon juice) to raise a mixture. Baking powder is a combination of cream of tartar and bicarbonate of soda and some other base flour (rice or corn flour) which reacts with moisture (milk or eggs) to raise a mixture. When making a cake it is essential to put it immediately into a hot oven.