Soda Bread

I’m not experienced at making bread and would love to learn more. Recently I’ve come to realise that if I eat bread bought from the supermarket I feel bloated. I’m not gluten free but I feel as if there’s a lot of unnecessary additives in bread. I just wish I could bake my own all the time. I don’t want to cut out bread completely from my diet but I don’t have much time when I’m at work to bake bread on top of everything I do. I have a bread maker but my husband hates it out on the work top so it has to be put away in a cupboard when I’m not using it. Because of this, sometimes I forget it’s there!

This morning I wanted to have some bread to go with lunch that wouldn’t take ages to make. Soda Bread fits the bill perfectly when you are pushed for time as there is no need for yeast as a raising agent in the dough. Instead, the bicarbonate of soda does the job. It can be adapted to add flavourings to turn the dough into a sweet one by adding dried fruits and spices like cinnamon. Or you can add nuts and seeds to a savoury loaf.

The latest Eat Well For Less book: Eat Well For Less Quick And Easy Meals has such a recipe and this is the recipe I used for my soda bread today.

The recipe suggested using wholemeal flour and natural yoghurt. I didn’t have these but I had some spelt flour and some Skyr. I wasn’t sure whether they would have the same effect but it was worth a try.

The flour, seeds, salt and bicarbonate of soda was weighed out and added to a large mixing bowl. I mixed them together evenly.

To the dry ingredients I then added the natural Skyr and some milk.

When making up the bread dough, you have to get your hands into the dough to work it up into a ball. The dough was quite sticky!

The dough was gathered up into a ball and put on a baking sheet covered in baking parchment.

Then, I got a sharp knife and scored the top of the bread into quarters. As well as doing this, I sprinkled the top of the loaf with some left over flour before baking.

I was disappointed with how the bread turned out. The oven was put on at the specified temperature and was even baked for longer than the 20 minutes that was required. I am not sure if my oven isn’t working effectively any more. It is nearly 13 years old and has been in constant use for all that time. I bought an oven thermometer but forget to put it in the oven sometimes. The bread appeared to be hollow when I tapped it after 30 minutes so I took it out of the oven. When I cut the bread in half it looked stodgy in places. It tasted better when I toasted a couple of slices which I ate with some Allioli (Spanish Garlic Mayonnaise) spread on it.

Having said that, even though the bread looked under done, it tasted lovely and both my husband and daughter enjoyed some at lunchtime. I will try and bake some more again and see if I can improve!

Happy Baking!

Love Sam xx

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