sourdough pesto irish soda bread

soda bread with pesto

As part of this month’s Sourdough Surprises, I was challenged to create an Irish Soda Bread using my sourdough starter. A contrary concept – making a quick bread using a slow rise levain – but a very simple and very tasty one. Soda bread, traditionally risen using the activation of baking soda is basically a scone. In this recipe, yogurt is used for moisture and flavour, as well as a good dollop of pesto – a bit of a lame attempt at working in the St Patrick’s theme to an already Irish good..

irish soda bread

Check out other Irish Soda Breads from the Sourdough community at the link below.

Sourdough Pesto Irish Soda Bread
Recipe adapted from Allison and Simon Holst’s NZ Bread Book
Makes 1 20cm boule

This is a super simple and super quick loaf! Warm from the oven with a pat of butter and a smear of pesto… perfect for a cozy evening in while the snow (continues to) fall.

1 cup sourdough starter
2 cups standard plain flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cream of tartar
2/3 cup milk
2 Tbsp basil pesto
1/2 cup plain unsweetened yoghurt

Preheat the oven to 350°F.Sift the flour, salt, sugar, baking soda and cream of tartar into a large bowl.
Measure the sourdough, milk, pesto and yoghurt into a small bowl and stir to combine.Pour the milk mixture into the dry ingredients and gently fold the mixture together, trying to combine it evenly but without over-mixing.

Tip the dough onto a lightly floured board and shape it into a ball. Flatten a little until it is disc-shaped and measures just over 15cm across and place it on a lightly floured or baking paper lined baking sheet. Using a sharp knife, cut a deep cross (about halfway down) into the dough so it opens nicely during baking.

Bake in the middle of the oven at 350°F for 45–50 minutes or until golden brown and hollow sounding when tapped.

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