Beer Soda Bread
Soda breads are fun as start to eating is under an hour. You only need a bowl, spatula, sifter, measuring cup/spoons and a 8.5×4.5 inch loaf pan. If you are new to making bread, this is a great recipe to start with.
This recipe is designed for using with any carbonated beverage such as beer or carbonated mineral water. I have been experimenting with what I call “cooking beer,” similar to the concept of cooking wine or sherry. No/low alcohol beer makes a good flavouring agent while not breaking the bank. The President’s Choice Red Beer is about $.50 a can vs. several dollars for real beer. I was interested to see is carbonated mineral water would work. The result is more like a biscuit. Beer adds 3 grams (3/4 tsp) of sugar and malt flavours. The salt in the mineral water is so small it does not impact the final taste.
Tips for making a great soda bread.
- You need to Sift: It fluffs up the flour and mixes the dry ingredients together.
- Speed: I am used to making yeast based bread where taking your time is better. With soda bread the mixing phase should last two minutes at the most. As you stir, carbonation is being lost.
- Preheat the oven: Heating up the oven takes time. Measure ingredients, sift and get ready but don’t add the beer/olive oil until the oven is ready.
- Flour - All-Purpose 2½ cups (325 g)
- Sugar - 1 TBSP (13 g)
- Baking Powder - 1 TBSP (14 g)
- Baking Soda - ½ tsp (4 g)
- Salt - ¼ tsp (1 g)
- Beer or carbonated drink - 12 ounce (355 g)
- Olive Oil - 2 TBSP (27g)
- Coat 8.5x4.5 inch loaf pan with a cooking spray, oil or butter.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F (205°C/Gas 6).
- Place a sifter in the mixer bowl and add the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.)
- Sift into mixing bowl.
- Pour in the beer and olive oil.
- Mix until just blended.
- Pour batter into the greased loaf pan.
- Bake 45 minutes until golden brown or until a thermometer inserted into the center registers at least 190°F (88°C).
- Cool on wire rack.
Soda breads like to age. Hot from the oven is wonderful with a crunchy crust. 12 hours later the crust softens and the crumb firms up. This bread toasts well.
Footnote: I found the bread made with the beer tastier then the one with mineral water. The problem with the latter is it lacked any flavour. The malt, hops and sugars in the beer provided the taste kick.