My traditional soda bread recipe not only makes a great bread, but tasty pizza bases and a deliciously simple focaccia. For my book launch, I worked with head chef of the Pembroke Hotel, Grainne Somers, and we decided to serve pizza with two different toppings and a simple focaccia as part of the launch food. We chose goats cheese, pear and walnuts for one topping and the other was sweet butternut squash with smoked venison – delightful!
This basic soda bread recipe will give you four pizza bases and a good size focaccia. On the launch night we made a rosemary, sea salt and olive oil focaccia. Here’s how to make it..
450g cream plain flour
375mls buttermilk (room temperature)
11/2 tsps bread soda
1 tsp salt
Olive oil/Sea Salt/Handful of rosemary
Preheat the oven to 180C and line a baking tray with parchment.
Mix the flour, bread soda and salt together in a bowl.
Slow mix in the buttermilk until it has formed a nice dough.
Place the dough on a floured board, cut one quarter and put aside – this will be for the focaccia. Divide the remainder into four and roll out and shape into four pizza bases. These can be partially baked for twelve minutes and used when required or topped with your favourite flavours and baked in the oven at 180C for 15-2o minutes.
So back to the focaccia. With a rolling pin, gently roll out the remaining one quarter of the dough. Place the dough on the prepared baking tray and drizzle generously with olive oil.
Sprinkle on the sea salt and dot the rosemary on the top of the dough.
Press in a last drizzle of olive oil and bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
Use you favourite herbs, olives or tomatoes for this bread – the possibilities are endless…