Sunday, 25 March 2018

Recipe: Rosemary and Cheddar Soda Bread

My latest hobby is bread baking. It's ideal because I have a lot of long evenings in Stamford that I need to fill with something, and bread baking is often a relatively long process. However, one type of loaf that I hadn't tried was soda bread, which is always considered to be the easiest type of bread to bake as it involves no kneading and no proving. So I set out to read lots of different recipes to learn some more about it. I ended up knocking a few recipes together to come up with this one, based on what I had available and what sounded good. 


So here we have my recipe for cheddar and rosemary Irish soda bread. St Paddy's day may be behind us, but I promise that this bread will be enjoyed all year round. I've made this twice in the past week and has gotten the approval of my friends as we snacked on it whilst watching old Come Dine With Me episodes (god I love that show). This bread can go from ingredients to on the table in under an hour so ideal for those who are short on time but don't want to miss out on the pure joy of homemade bread.


Ingredients:

1 cup of bread flour or plain flour
1 cup of wholemeal flour
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon of salt
1 tablespoon of dried rosemary
1 cup of cheddar cheese, grated
1 + 1/2 cups of buttermilk


Method:

1. Preheat an oven to 220 Celsius / 425 Fahrenheit / gas mark 7 and grease or line with baking paper.
2. Combine the flours, baking soda, salt, rosemary and cheese in a large bowl. Mix until combined and form a well in the middle of the mixture. 
3. Pour 1 cup of buttermilk into the well and with one hand, begin to stir the flour mixture into the buttermilk. 
4. Try to totally combine the dough together, if it is too dry then slowly add the other half cup of buttermilk, though you may not need it. The ideal consistency is sticky and rough. 
5. Transfer onto the baking parchment in a rough circle and score the top of the loaf with a knife/razor blade in a cross shape.
6. Bake for 20 minutes and then turn off the oven, leave the bread in the oven for a further 5 minutes and then take it out of the oven. 


My favourite way to eat this bread is fresh out of the oven, spread with butter and a little bit of salt. It would also work excellently with soup or stew. If you're feeling particularly fancy, spread it with mashed avocado and a poached egg on a weekend afternoon. 

Happy baking! 

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