Nov 30

Wholemeal soda bread

Illustration for wholemeal soda bread recipeSoda bread is a great standby, especially when you have something tasty bubbling away on the hob and are desperately in need of a no-fuss starchy side dish to soak up the juices.

It is a perfect accompaniment to soups or stews and is brilliant breakfast fodder. We had it for dinner with braised red cabbage and sausages and felt nourished from head to toe. The next morning, we topped thick slices of the remaining soda bread with scrambled eggs and oak-smoked cheddar for a hearty breakfast.

Unlike yeast breads it doesn’t need to prove or rise so you can get a batch in the oven and ready to eat (if you don’t mind scalding your mouth) in around an hour.

If you prefer, use wholemeal spelt flour or a gluten-free variety.

Recipe: Wholemeal soda bread

  • 500g / 1lb 2oz wholemeal flour (use wholemeal spelt flour for a wheat-free treat)
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • 1tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 250 – 300g / 9 – 10 oz  natural yoghurt (or a mix of yoghurt and whole milk) - amount required will depend on type of flour used
  • 1tbsp oatmeal or oat flakes to decorate

Preheat the oven to 170°C. Prepare a baking sheet by flouring liberally, or use non-stick baking parchment to cover.

Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl.

Add the yoghurt and, using a dough scraper or your hand, bring the mixture together to a form soft, slightly sticky dough.

Form the mixture roughly into a ball and flatten slightly then place onto the prepared baking sheet.

Scatter the oatmeal or oat flakes on top of the loaf and press them gently so they stick to the surface.

Using your dough scraper or a knife, make two indentations along the diameter of the loaf so there are four equal wedges marked out.

Bake in the preheated oven for around 40 mins.

Break off wedges of the bread and enjoy still warm and slathered in salted butter.

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