Irish treacle and ginger bread

Here’s a scrumptious bread to enjoy for breakfast this weekend, courtesy of the September Daring Bakers challenge. Our assignment was to make soda bread, and I decided to branch out from the basic stuff, which I’ve made plenty of times before, and try something that it still traditional but new to me.

Irish treacle and ginger bread

I did a bit of searching and found a site called European Cuisines which aims to share traditional European food with the world. Of course, I can’t speak to the historical accuracy of their recipe for this rich, dense, sweet bread, but I can vouch for the taste!

The treacle (or molasses) and ginger make it a divine, warmly spiced Autumn breakfast treat – slather it with butter and a big dollop of jam, a steaming mug of tea at its side. Heaven.

Ingredients

240ml (1 cup) buttermilk (or fresh milk + 1 tsp cream of tartar)
2 Tbsp black treacle or dark molasses
450g (1 lb or 3 2/3 cups) all-purpose (plain) flour
2 Tbsp granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
good pinch of ground ginger

Directions

Preheat oven to 200°C / 400° F / Gas Mark 6 and line a baking sheet with parchment.

Warm the treacle and milk together in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring until the treacle has dissolved completely. If using fresh milk and cream of tartar, add the cream of tartar with the dry ingredients.

Mix all the dry ingredients together. Add the warmed milk and mix to a soft dough.

Shape the dough into a disc about 20cm (8″) across. Put the dough on the baking sheet, use a large knife to score across in the top, about 1cm (2/5″) deep, and bake in centre of oven for 40 minutes.

When baked, transfer bread to a wire rack and wrap in a clean tea towel until cool.

*****

Check out the recipe for basic white soda bread here.

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