043 - Caraway and Marjoram Soda Bread

Soda Bread with Caraway and Marjoram
June 26, 2011

[450W - 400MI][1t Salt, 1t Baking Soda, 2t Caraway Seeds, 2t marjoram]
mix, shape into boule, slash and bake (10 min @230', 35min @200')

Needed new bread in a rush and had zero decent options on a Sunday evening in my neighborhood so I thought I'd make a return to soda bread. I haven't really been impressed with my own soda bread in the past, it's always been a little too gummy, a little too dense, a little too dry, or whatever else. But a piping hot bread out of the oven is hard to get over, so I made a few when I really didn't want to go to the market. This time I thought I would try to produce something nicer so I looked up a recipe through the Wild Yeast Blog. The recipe itself can be found at Luculli and Delights.

The only alterations were that I used less and different herbs and used whole milk instead of the buttermilk that's instructed. This dough was near 90% hydration, making it the stickiest soda bread dough I've made by far - I wonder if this is what accounts for the huge difference. I also made sure to mix quickly and gently. The resulting dough was very soft and loose, quickly losing shape after I slashed the dough. It exhibited a really nice oven spring - after letting it cool for a while I sliced the entire loaf without any difficulty.

The crust was soft and easy to eat, while the crumb was light and fluffy without being too crumbly. I couldn't taste any of the alkaline of the baking soda (which was a major worry when I read this recipe initially) and the caraway and marjoram were a nice addition to the surprisingly sweet and mellow flavor of the bread itself. This was, without a doubt, the tastiest soda bread I've had and certainly the only decent one I've ever produced - they'll no longer be relegated to being the last-ditch option around here.

submitted to YeastSpotting


  1. yay! marjoram! it worked for you then. nice!

  2. did you use fresh or dried? when i used fresh, it got lost in the bread...

  3. hey Frankie! I used dried marjoram, couldn't find any fresh at the local market here. The flavor definitely came through, but as with most things, it had some trouble competing with the caraway. If nothing else, the bread smelled amazing because of the marjoram.