Sometimes there is nothing that I need more than a bowl of thick homemade soup and a slice or two of freshly baked, good, old-fashioned soda bread. Although sometimes I get the urge to throw the contents of a can of Guinness into the recipe. Why you might ask? Why not, is the important question.
I first tried Guinness soda bread in La Palma, which is a wonderful Italian restaurant in Waterford City. I was quite under the weather when I went out for dinner that night. My taste buds were acting up. The poor little guys failed to experience the true flavours of what I’m certain was a most flavourful meal. Visually, the meal was beautiful. I’ll have to return again. I was however, delighted when our waitress came out with a basket of bread, asking us which we would like to try. There was an option of a freshly baked crusty Italian bread or of a traditional Guinness soda bread. Ben and I opted for the Guinness soda bread without hesitation, having neither of us sampled it before.
I was surprised that I could taste the bread so intensely. It was nutty, warm and sweet, with a flavour that had a lot of depth. I could taste a hint of Guinness, which I’m sure would have been a lot stronger had it been another night. It was comforting and I longed for more of it.
So one evening after college I decided to create a loaf of Guinness soda bread which I hoped would do La Palma’s loaf justice. It turned out to be a lovely loaf. Nice and soft on the inside with a crisp exterior. And of course, the Guinness was present in both aroma and taste.
This could certainly be one for St.Patrick’s Day. Celebrate St.Patrick, Ireland and Guinness. All in one loaf!
Ingredients (Makes 1 Loaf):
- 450g wholemeal flour
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 25g oats
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 50g margarine
- 1 tablespoon treacle/golden syrup/honey
- 400ml Guinness
- Preheat oven to 190C/180C Fan/375F/Gas 5. Lightly grease a loaf tin.
- Put the margarine with the treacle/golden syrup/honey in a saucepan and allow the margarine to melt over a low heat.
- Meanwhile, place the flour, oats and sugar into a large bowl. Sieve in the bread soda, mixing well.
- Once the margarine has melted, stir in the Guinness.
- Add the liquid mixture to the dry ingredients and combine.
- Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 45-50 minutes. The loaf is done when a cake tester which has been inserted into the loaf comes out clean, or when the base makes a hollow sound when tapped.
- Once cooked, remove from the pan and allow to cool. Cover with a clean towel if a softer crust is desired.