Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Soda bread - 3 ways!



Tonight the quite brilliant Great British Bake Off will feature quick breads, bread which requires no proving and must be ready to eat within 90 minutes. For us in the nest that means only one thing - soda bread!

Soda bread is an incredibly simple and fool proof way to make a tasty loaf, one that can stand on its own but usually works best as an accompaniment to a casserole, or a lovely homemade soup.

I will be showing you how to make three different versions of soda bread. The first is the most basic and stress free. Following that I have developed a lovely stout soda bread and finally a dairy free and gluten free soda bread.

We teach the basic recipe at our bread making classes - http://blackbirdbread.blogspot.co.uk/p/baking-classes.html

The utensils for all three are the same: 


Large mixing bowl
Wooden spoon
Scales (digital is best for baking but whatever you have)
Roasting tray
Wire rack
Sharp knife
Tea towel


I have chosen to repeat the instructions for each of the bakes. They are almost identical but the gluten free recipe has some vital differences. Enjoy!




Basic soda bread


450g plain flour (plus extra for dusting)
Tub of buttermilk (approx 284ml)
100-125ml milk
Tsp bicarbonate of soda
Tsp salt
Tsp caster sugar

Heat oven to 200C.

Mix all of above, excluding the milk, in bowl, using wooden spoon. Half fill the empty buttermilk carton with milk and add to the flour. Stir, If it is too dry then add another 25ml. If it is too sticky and won’t stir, then add another handful of flour.

Stir until the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl.

Place into a well floured baking tray. Add extra flour to the dough. Pat out into a ball (don't knead) and gently flatten the top until it's approx 10cm high. Keep its round shape!

Using a sharp knife (breadnife) cut a 5cm line right across the surface. Cut another line across the surface, making a cross.

Place in the oven for 10 mins at temp listed above.

After this time, rotate the loaf  and bake for 10 mins.

Rotate again and bake for 5 more mins.

After this time the bread should be a golden colour, remove from oven, turn it upside down and place back in oven to cook the base of the loaf. This takes 5-10 mins. It's cooked when it sounds hollow!


Place on a wire rack and let it cool completely before getting stuck in! Please don't slice it while it's hot, or even warm, you risk losing a lovely loaf! 


Stout soda bread

330g wholemeal flour (plus extra for dusting)
100g plain flour
100g buttermilk
200g stout
Tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp salt
Tbsp treacle

Mix all of above in bowl, using wooden spoon. Stir, If it is too dry then add another 5-10g of buttermilk. If it is too sticky and won’t stir, then add another handful of flour.

Stir until the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl.

Place into a well floured baking tray. Add extra flour to the dough. Pat out into a ball (don't knead) and gently flatten the top until it's approx 10cm high. Keep its round shape!

Using a sharp knife (breadnife) cut a 5cm line right across the surface. Cut another line across the surface, making a cross.

Place in the oven for 10 mins at temp listed above.

After this time, rotate the loaf and bake for 10 mins.

Rotate again and bake for 5 more mins.

After this time the bread should be a golden colour, remove from oven, turn it upside down and place back in oven to cook the base of the loaf. This takes 5-10 mins. It's cooked when it sounds hollow!

Place on a wire rack and let it cool completely before getting stuck in! Please don't slice it while it's hot, or even warm, you risk losing a lovely loaf! 


Gluten free and dairy free soda bread

100g gluten free plain flour (plus extra for dusting)
300g gluten free white bread flour
238-250g soya yoghurt (natural)
100-120ml soya milk (unsweetened)
Tsp gluten free baking powder
Tsp bicarbonate of soda
Tsp salt
Tsp caster sugar
Lemon juice (a few drops!)

Combine the soya yoghurt, the soya milk and the lemon juice (just a few drops) in a bowl. Stir well and leave, uncovered, for 5 mins.

Lightly flour a roasting tray.

Weigh out the dry ingredients, (the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt and the caster sugar) together in another bowl.

Pour the liquid into the bowl containing the dry ingredients. Stir well, until it forms a sloppy dough.

Wet your hands thoroughly and remove the dough from the bowl onto the tray. Shape the dough into a ball. Put more water on your hands if needed – it is important to keep the dough wet.

Once shaped, coat the dough in plain flour and slash a cross into the dough.

Place in the oven for 10 mins at temp listed above.

After this time, rotate the loaf and bake for 10 mins.

Rotate again and bake for 5 more mins.


There we go. Three ways to make a loaf within 90 minutes. Get practising after tonight's Great British Bake Off as they're all good enough for Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood to tuck into!





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