Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Simplest and Tasiest Bread Ever

best ever soda bread
I actually made this bread the other day for the first time and it is FABULOUS. The recipe is from Lorraine Pascal and the best thing is - no yeast, no kneading and no proving. Just mix with one hand cut a cross on it, pop it on a baking tray and cook it. I mean how simple is that. The addition of black treacle gives it a crispy crust but a moist inside. If I can do it anyone can. I also had no wholemeal flour so used all white and it was still delicious.
  • 370g/13oz plain flour, plus extra for dusting

  • 130g/4½oz wholemeal flour

  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 40g/1½oz butter, melted

  • 1 tbsp black treacle

  • 300–340ml/11–12fl oz buttermilk (or alternatively use warm milk plus 1 tbsp lemon juice)

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6 and ensure the top shelf in the oven is in position.

  2. Place the flours, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a large bowl and stir together. Make a large hole in the centre of the flour mixture and pour in the melted butter and treacle, plus enough of the buttermilk to make a loose sticky dough.

  3. Tip the dough onto a lightly dusted work surface. The dough will be quite sticky. Knead the dough for one minute, then shape it into a large ball with a taut, smooth top. Place the dough on a baking tray and flatten it a bit - I find the easiest way to do this is with a rolling pin.

  4. Take a wooden spoon, put some flour over the whole handle, then hold it horizontally over the bread. Put the wooden spoon handle on top of the bread then push it down until you feel the baking tray at the bottom. This mark is the first half of the trademark soda bread cross. Repeat with a line at right angles to this.

  5. Dust with some flour then bake in the oven for 30–40 minutes, or until the bread is brown, has risen nicely and the dough inside where the cross was made is not damp.

  6. Serve fresh from the oven with butter and jam. This bread does not keep well, so is best eaten on the day that it is baked – but if you have any left, it does make good toast.

1 comment:

jason @ chesterfield sofa said...

I think even I might be able to make this bread, so I'm going to have a go.

It's part of my new year's resolutions (Number 6 I think! Eat better and healthier)