Food - Drink
The Hard-To-Find Flour Irish Soda Bread Is Traditionally Made With
Irish soda bread became a staple during the country's famine in the 1800s, and today, this bread is still made with just four ingredients: wholemeal flour, salt, baking soda, and buttermilk. The latter three items are easy to locate at an average American grocery store, but wholemeal flour is much more difficult to find in the U.S.
Brown Irish soda bread is made with "soft" flour, which gives it a characteristic crumbly texture, but most flour in the U.S. is "hard" whole wheat flour. "Hard" American whole wheat flour is ground to a uniform consistency, which works well with yeasted breads, but would create an exceptionally dense, heavy soda bread.
"Soft" Irish wholemeal flour is coarser and still contains pieces of bran and germ from wheat seeds, which successfully creates a soft yet crumbly quick bread with a nutty flavor. Irish flour is available to buy online, but a simpler solution is substituting part of the whole wheat flour you're using with additional wheat bran and germ.