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soda seeds

Soda seeds

Place dough loaf onto a lightly greased baking sheet (or cast iron pan). Make 1 1/2-inch deep cuts, forming a cross, from side to side on the loaf. The scoring helps the heat get to the center of the loaf while cooking.

The dough should be neither too wet or too dry, so if it is a little too dry to work with, add a little more buttermilk. If too wet, add a little more flour. Roughly shape into a ball and place on a floured surface. Knead just a few times to shape it into a round loaf. Do not over-knead or the bread will be tough.

With yeast breads you have to proof the yeast, knead the dough, let the dough rise, etc.

Using your fingers (or a fork) work the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles a coarse meal.


But with soda breads? There's no proofing, kneading, or waiting.

Make a well in the center of the flour. Pour the buttermilk into the center and using either your hands or a wooden spoon, fold the flour over the buttermilk and gently mix until just combined.

Preheat oven to 450°F. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, and caraway seeds.

Caraway Soda Bread

Elise founded Simply Recipes in 2003 and led the site until 2019. She has an MA in Food Research from Stanford University.

In fact, because the leavening comes from mixing the base of the baking soda with the acid in the buttermilk (remember those fascinating-at-the-time childhood experiments of sprinkling vinegar onto baking soda?), you pretty much pop it in the oven as soon as you put the dough together.

Soda seeds

If you find yourself planning a trip to Portland, you can have a look at some of the places I visited the last time I was there. I revisited a few of those on this trip, and made it to a handful of new places as well. There are also lots of great suggestions from you all in the comments section.

Inspired by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s soda bread recipe, this version is made with a blend of spelt flour and all-purpose flour. The dough is littered with seeds – sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, flax seeds, and fennel seeds. It bakes into a perfect, rustic, crusty loaf of bread with relatively little effort.

We popped over to the Little Red Bike Cafe early one morning – had fantastic coffee, a hearty breakfast, and a nice chat with Evan before heading out in the rain, and then went to stock up on an unreasonable amount of salt at The Meadow, again. Moxie Rx wasn’t open during our stay, but Nancye (the owner) is an old friend of ours, and we were able to meet up with her for brunch the next day at Tasty & Sons. Also loved Navarre – their pearled farro, red celery, and parsley salad in particular. Another night we walked from the hotel downtown to Indish, and had one of the best, and most thoughtfully prepared Indian meals I’ve had in some time – bright, fresh, flavorful – really great.

On the food front, I continue to love lunch at Clyde Common, and would go back there everyday if proximity permitted. They had a buttermilk-dressed wheat berry salad on the menu that stole my heart, and an Upright Brewing Co. Farmhouse Rye Ale on tap that stole my craving for any other beer that week.