Following on from my bread making blog, it isn’t always possible to have a spare few hours to allow bread to prove and prove again….but it isn’t necessary if you need something quick and tasty to compliment a soup or, say, cheese and Guinness!
That’s what Soda bread is for. Called damper bread in Australia, bannock bread in Scotland and soda or wheaten bread in Ireland, it is widely used as a quick alternative to yeast bread and can be delicious if eaten warm with some butter running off the top….
It’s basically a giant scone – the rising agent is bicarbonate of soda – there is no yeast involved, nor is it necessary to stretch the gluten of strong bread flour as plain flour is used. In fact, as little handling of the dough as possible is the best approach.
Yet a tasty, if somewhat denser bread is achieved – and in well under an hour…..here’s how…
Set your oven at around 200 degrees.
Put 500 grams of plain flour into a large mixing bowl and add 4 teaspoons of baking powder and a teaspoon of salt.
Pour in about 300 mils of buttermilk (this can be obtained from supermarkets but I usually add a couple of spoonfuls of plain yoghurt to milk) and mix without kneading too heavily – you just want to bring it together.
Shape it into a round and cut a cross into the top almost all the way through the loaf, then place onto a floured baking tray and bake for around 25 minutes or until it sounds hollow when you tap its bottom.
It’s even easier than bread.
There are also tasty variations – my favourite being the alternative to Soda Bread with Guinness and cheese – Guinness and cheese soda bread! Just substitute the buttermilk with Guinness and when you’ve shaped the dough into a round, plaster the top with grated mature cheddar – or any cheese that takes your fancy – it’s good to experiment. Then cut the cross and bake as before.
Or use wholemeal flour and a spoonful of black treacle for a dark, luscious and unctuous bread.
Then there’s walnut and cheese soda bread…..and so on until your imagination wilts…
|Cheese Soda Bread and home made soup...|