Traditional Irish soda bread with a sweet, chocolatey twist. Unbelievably simple to make, no kneading, no proving, and ready for the oven in under 10 minutes.
I enjoy making bread but it takes sooooooo long. By the time I’ve made, kneaded and proved the dough (twice) that’s several hours gone. Admittedly I can go and do other things whilst the bread is proving, but I can’t really go out as I need to keep an eye on it to make sure that I don’t overprove it.
That’s where soda bread comes in. It’s unbelievably simple. All you have to do it put the ingredients in a bowl, mix them up and pop them in the oven. Its about the easiest thing you can make.
Before Christmas I decided to have a go at making a sweet soda bread as I was interested to see how it would turn out. When I had a quick look at what other recipes are about I noticed that there was quite a lot of sweet soda bread but it always seemed to be centred around using spices and dried fruit. I decided to try something a little different and threw in some chocolate chips and vanilla instead. The result was delicious. Put it this way, Jon was on a bit of a pre-Christmas diet and was being extremely strict about it, never cracking despite lots of temptation. However, after trying a little taste of the chocolate chip soda bread (he always has to taste what I make and give his opinion) he then went and polished off several slices.
Perfect for cooking with children
After watching the enjoyment Daniel had last week when he was making Fairy Cakes with Jon, I decided that I wanted to get him more involved in the kitchen. He clearly enjoys it, and it’s important to me that he knows his way around the kitchen so he’s able to fend for himself when he’s older.
The simplicity of this recipe makes it perfect for making with your little ones. Simply put all of the ingredients in a bowl, stick your hands in and give it a good mix. The fact that you can get mucky bringing the dough together with your hands makes it all the more fun.
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Chocolate Chip Soda Bread
- 200 g plain flour
- ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 20 g golden caster sugar + ½ tbsp for sprinkling on top before baking
- 50 g milk chocolate chips
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 150 ml buttermilk
- Pre-heat the oven to 220ºC/200ºC fan.
- Line a baking tray with a sheet of baking parchment or a silicon baking sheet.
- Put all of the dry ingredients into a large bowl (200g plain flour, ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda, 20g golden caster sugar, 50g milk chocolate chips) and give them a quick stir so they're all mixed up.
- Add in the buttermilk (150ml) and vanilla extract (½ tsp) and mix thoroughly until you have a ball of dough. You can use a spoon but I prefer to use my hands as its easier to ensure that everything is fully combined. If there are any dry bits at the bottom that won't combine add a little extra buttermilk if you have it or if you don't a little milk until it is all combined.
- Form the dough into a ball and place on the baking tray. Sprinkle ½ tbsp golden caster sugar on the top and then cut a cross in the top with a sharp knife.
- Bake in the oven for 25 minutes, remove from the oven, loosely cover with foil and return to the oven for a further 10 minutes.
- Check the loaf is cooked by tapping on the bottom. It should sound hollow. If it doesn't then pop it back in (still covered in foil) for another few minutes.
- Once cooked, move to a rack to cool.