Ronnie Fein, OUcooking.org Columnist - Mixing it Up says:
Irish Soda Bread (pareve)
3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1-1/2 cups water
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1/2 cup raisins
1 teaspoon caraway seeds (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a baking sheet. Mix the flour, brown sugar, salt and baking soda in a bowl. Add the water and cider vinegar and mix the ingredients into a soft dough. Work in the raisins with your hands. If you use the caraway seeds, work them in at the same time as the raisins. Lightly flour a pastry board or a clean work surface. Knead the dough on the floured surface 18 to 20 times. Use more flour on the board if the dough seems sticky. Shape the dough into a ball, and then flatten it slightly. Cut a small “X” on the top with the tip of a sharp knife. Place the dough on the baking sheet and bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until golden brown.
(for dairy bread: use 1-1/2 cups buttermilk instead of the water plus cider vinegar)
Faye Levy, OUcooking.org Columnist - Food by Faye says:
TO MAKE NON-DAIRY BUTTERMILK, for use in baking:
Add 1 tablespoon white vinegar or lemon juice to 1 cup pareve soy milk. Set aside for ten minutes or until thickened and curdled. Stir gently before using.
- - - -
Here is a recipe for Brown Soda bread from my friend Darina Allen’s book, “The Complete Book of Irish Country Cooking.” Darina is the founder and operator of the internationally renowned Ballymaloe Cookery School in Shanagarry, County Cork, Ireland.
BROWN SODA BREAD
To make this recipe pareve, first prepare the nondairy buttermilk following the proportions above.
Darina writes: “The warm and comforting smell of brown soda bread wafting from the kitchen has cheered and nourished countless generations of Irish people after a hard day’s work in the fields and bogs. It is the quintessential Irish bread.”
4 cups brown wholewheat flour (preferably stone ground)
4 cups white flour
3 rounded teaspoons salt
2 rounded teaspoons baking soda, sieved
3 to 3 1/4 cups sour milk or buttermilk
Preheat oven to 450F.
Mix dry ingredients together. Make a well in the center and add most of the sour milk or buttermilk all in one go. Working from the center, mix with your hand and add more milk if necessary. The dough should be soft but not sticky. Turn out on to a floured board and knead lightly, just enough to shape into a round. Flatten slightly to about 2 inches deep. Put onto a baking sheet. Mark with a deep cross and bake in the hot oven for 15 to 20 minutes, then reduce the heat to 400F for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until the bread is cooked and sounds hollow when tapped.
- - - -
Here is a recipe for Irish Soda Bread from Robin Robertson’s book, “Vegan Planet” (Harvard Common Press):
NONDAIRY IRISH SODA BREAD
Robertson wrote that the bread is ideal served with a hearty stew or eaten on its own, still warm from the oven.
1 1/2 cups soy milk or other dairy-free milk
1 1/2 tablespoons white vinegar
4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Preheat oven to 375F. Lightly oil a baking sheet.
Combine soy milk and vinegar in a measuring cup; set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder and mix until blended. Add enough of the milk mixture to make a soft dough that is not too sticky. Knead just until the dough is smooth, about 3 minutes. Shape the dough into a round loaf and use a sharp knife to cut an X in the top. Place on the prepared baking sheet.
Bake on the center oven rack until golden brown, about 45 minutes. The bread is done when it sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. Remove from the sheet and let cool on a wire rack before slicing. This bread is best eaten the same day it is made.
Makes 1 loaf.