My desire to learn about my heritage has meant I’ve spent many hours going through historical records, slowly piecing together my family tree, and then spending lots of happy hours sharing it with my dad and the rest of the family. But to fully understand my heritage I need to do more than put my family tree together, I need to immerse myself in the culture and traditions too. This is why I want to learn how to cook both Scottish and Irish cuisine.
I started by learning how to make Soda Bread. Soda bread, although not originating in Ireland, is most commonly associated with Ireland. It is made using flour and buttermilk, with the buttermilk acting as the rising agent. I’ve eaten the shop bought stuff many a time as my dad loves it. He loves it so much that if given the offer of a piece of cake or some soda bread he would go for the soda bread every time!
I decided to have a go at making it and was surprised as how simple a recipe it is to follow: mix wholemeal and plain flour together, add salt and bicarbonate of soda. Then make a well in the flour and add buttermilk until it comes together. In the oven for half an hour and out comes fresh bread. No bread maker in sight and it tastes good too.