Not all breads need a sourdough starter or commercial yeast. Quick breads—a broad baking category that includes cakes, cookies, and brownies—are leavened with baking soda or baking powder, which react to an acidic ingredient to give the dough its rapid rise.
Soda breads use the reaction between acidic buttermilk and baking soda to make a tender, densely crumbed loaf. The most famous soda breads come from Ireland, where traditional loaves are a bit sweet and often studded with raisins or other dried fruits. Our version veers savory with cheese and scallions to make a loaf that is very similar to a cheddar biscuit.