Thought I’d break up the sweets with a loaf of Hermine’s handshake-worthy soda bread! # 196: Smoked Salmon Soda Bread
Did you hear the collective sigh of relief that swept through the Bay Area on Saturday? Philadelphia served up one of the best belated birthday gifts I could ask for! I hope you found a moment to celebrate this weekend before we all dive back into the political circus of the next few months.
I learned a few things from this bake:
- Smoked salmon and chives are soul mates! Yum.
- I don’t particularly like soda bread as a genre of bread. Considering my favorite bread is a brioche, you can see how this one, with its dense drier crumb, might not thrill me.
- Recipes from the Great British Bake Off are more fiddly than you might expect. Two tablespoons of spelt flour are not worth the hours of running around the Bay Area trying to find a grocery store that’s open and stocks it on a Sunday evening. A mix of wheat and all-purpose worked just fine, thank you!
Soda bread is exactly what it sounds like – bread that’s leavened with baking soda instead of yeast. The result ends up being scone-like, but savory and a little less rich (less butter and cream than a scone!)
Its discovery is attributed to Native Americans, who were using a natural form of baking soda called “pearl ash” to help their breads rise. Props to the first person who thought to use purified wood ash in cooking – I don’t think I’d have the guts to try it!
Before researching, I was going to guess that it originated from Ireland. If you’ve ever searched for soda bread recipes online, almost all of them have “Irish” in the name! But alas, google led me astray: it wasn’t adapted into an Irish recipe until the 1830s.
Love the pops of color in this spread! Honestly so hard to tell what I’m trying to make by just looking at the ingredients.
It’s hard to call this a one-bowl recipe (my sink is piled high with used ramekins…) but for people who aren’t laying out all their ingredients for pictures, congrats – it’s a one-bowl recipe!
Not gonna lie, this was an expensive bake with both salmon and gruyere. Do you ever find yourself crossing your fingers when you put expensive ingredients into a recipe you’ve never made before? Like please, please be yummy!
Since this was a GBBO recipe, I decided to actually buy buttermilk instead of making it. Verdict: just make it at home! It’s the exact same consistency when I mix lemon juice with milk and let it sit for 10 minutes. Boom, homemade buttermilk.
Ready for my close-up now.
Some sources say that you make the cross cuts on the top so the fairies can escape. Morbid or adorable? Unclear.
Voila! A lovely crust with salmon and cheese running through each bite.
Can’t say that I’ll ever make it again, but it was fun to bring it to life anyway!