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Recipe Development: Seaweed Soda Bread

Follow along to see how Alison puts her own take on a classic, drawing influence from the Irish coastline, local suppliers and heritage ingredients, creating a delicately flavoured soda bread with a smooth, whipped butter.

Development Stages

Stage 1: Key Components

Texture - as well as the seaweed, Alison adds texture to the loaf by using porridge oats and buckwheat nibs to add a chewiness to each bite. The bread soda in this recipe when reacting to the buttermilk creates a fairly dense, hearty loaf perfect for smothering butter onto.
Flavour - Alison wanted to go for a natural saltiness that's less harsh than refined salt, so uses Dillisk seaweed that she dries and crushes so it is evenly dispersed throughout the loaf. The seaweed also pairs well with the grassy flavour of the buckwheat.
Local Influences - this loaf not only uses seaweed from the Irish coastline but Alison decided to use a local flour from County Louth called Dunany flour which uses a traditional Irish grain that produces a nutty, coarse flour like a rye or spelt rather than a white flour. Again looking to local suppliers, Alison decides to use a traditional Irish creamery for her whipped butter not only for its heritage but also Irish cream has a higher butterfat content, creating a soft butter with a richer mouthfeel.

Stage 2: Teachings

1. Foraged Ingredients - Learn how to use foraged ingredients in your recipes. Understanding the unique flavours they bring to the bread.
2. Soda leavening - Master quick leavening techniques by creating a reaction in the dough.
3. Coarse Flour- Begin to understand the variety of different flours and how they effect the finished product of a recipe.

Stage 3: Make It Your Own

1. Shaping - you can play around with the shaping for example, traditionally soda bread is round with a cross in the top.
2. Flavouring
- you can add the likes of raisins, nuts, seeds or caraway for flavour and texture or you can keep the bread plain and instead flavour your butter with seaweed or herbs.

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Alison Tierney
I've worked in a variety of restaurants from casual to Michelin star and follow the ethos of using the best local produce from our Island.