The Tapping Method To Tell When Soda Bread Is Done Baking

Soda bread is a staple in many kitchens. Its simplicity and hearty flavor make it a favorite among bread enthusiasts. But how do you know when your soda bread is perfectly baked, with an enticing golden crust and tender crumb? The answer may be right at your fingertips — or, more accurately, at your ears.

One of the age-old methods for gauging soda bread's doneness is the "hollow sound test." It's a straightforward yet reliable way to ensure your bread is baked to perfection. To use this method, remove the bread from the oven when it has cooked for the given time in the recipe. Keep the bread in the pan and lightly tap it against the countertop. Listen for a hollow sound inside the bread as you tap the pan down on the counter. 

If the bread makes a solid thud, the bread needs more time in the oven. But if you hear a hollow, drum-like sound, your soda bread is done and ready to be enjoyed. When you tap the bottom of the bread and hear a hollow sound, it indicates that the moisture has evaporated, and the bread is cooked through. Conversely, if the bread is undercooked, the moisture remains, resulting in a denser, doughy center that produces a dull thud when tapped.

Tips for baking soda bread

While the hollow sound test is a reliable indicator, there are some additional tips to ensure your soda bread turns out perfectly. As for visual cues, look for a deep golden-brown crust. A well-baked crust should be crisp and not overly pale or excessively dark. You can also check to ensure that the cuts on top of the bread do not look raw or doughy.

If you're uncertain, you can use a kitchen thermometer to check the internal temperature. It should read between 190 degrees Fahrenheit and 200 degrees Fahrenheit (or between 88 degrees Celsius and 93 degrees Celsius). Once your soda bread passes the hollow sound test and is done baking, let it cool on a wire rack. This allows any remaining moisture to distribute evenly and prevents a soggy bottom. With these tips, you'll end up with a light loaf with a perfect crumb.

The next time you're baking a loaf of soda bread, don't just rely on timers and guesswork. Listen for that satisfying hollow sound and savor the rewards of a perfectly baked creation.