I followed the original recipe exactly:
- 1 cup milk
- 2 tbsp white vinegar
- 2 cups flour
- 1 tbsp white sugar
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
While waiting on the mysterious curdling, I mixed the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt.
I added the "buttermilk" and stirred until it was well-mixed. As the dough was very sticky, I heeded others' suggestions to simply stir it a few extra times instead of attempting to knead it "a few times" on a floured surface, as the recipe suggests.
I dumped the dough in a rough ball shape in the centre of a non-stick baking sheet and cut an "x" into the top with a knife (to help release steam and so help the dough to keep its round shape).
I baked the dough at 400 degrees F for 30 minutes.
I've got to say, for my first attempt at making a loaf of bread and for how simple this recipe was, I was impressed when I opened the oven to find what resembled a beautiful golden-brown rustic loaf of bread.
Slicing the bread, I found that it was nice and crispy on the outside, but soft on the inside. Not soft like French bread though -- denser and a bit mealy, more like a scone.
The bread tasted very nice -- slightly sweet, but not so much that it couldn't be enjoyed with savoury toppings (I made a great grilled cheese sandwich with it for lunch today...that tasted like a cheese scone). Many Irish soda bread recipes call for raisins, so perhaps that's what I'll have to try next (despite not being particularly fond of raisins, raisin bread I'll go out of my way for). In the meantime, I'll be enjoying what remains of this loaf straight up (microwaved slightly as a feeble attempt to recreate its fresh-from-the-oven deliciousness).
Have you made Irish soda bread before? Any recommendations for what it goes well with?