We have been somewhat surprised by the positive response to our Sourdough Bread recipe and think it is great that some of you are having a go at sourdough, however, we know that time is still an issue for many so we are going in the opposite direction with this one and sharing a Soda Bread recipe. If sourdough is like inviting a new family member into the home, then soda bread is like a quick fling that is over as quickly as it started. Throw a few ingredients into a bowl, a quick knead, and 25 minutes in the oven and you are done. That said, plain Soda Bread has never been a favourite of ours, but add a few nuts, a good glug of honey and a few bits of dried fruits and we are there. So lets make this as easy as possible.
All bread doughs have about 60% liquid to flour ingredients, so if you have 100g of flour (100%), you would need 60g of water (60%), and soda bread is the same. We’re not just showing off with our knowledge, rather giving you this info so you can adjust the adjuncts to suit what flavours you want, as long as they are fairly dry you can add them in, raisins, dried figs, dates, whatever you want, just make sure you have the right liquid to flour ratio, although with Soda Bread a little added flour late in the process makes little difference so if you dough is a bit wet just add a couple of spoonful’s of flour to firm things up. So lets get started:
For one small loaf we recommend:
250g of plain wholemeal flour (not strong flour)
5g of salt
75g Walnuts (or a mixture that you like)
25g Dried Figs
2 teaspoons of Baking Powder
100g of honey
150mls of Water
Before you even start weighing out the ingredients put the oven on to 200oC to preheat.
Chop the walnuts into small pieces, take half of these small pieces and further bash and chop them into really small pieces, similar to the ones you get when you buy ground nuts from the supermarket. If your using the dried fruit chop these into small pieces as well, as small as you want them really. Now mix all the dry ingredients together to combine them all. Then add the wet ingredients and mix with a spoon until you have everything combined enough to begin kneading on a floured surface. The mixture should knead well enough but if it is a bit wet don’t worry about adding a bit of flour, however, the final dough should be a bit wetter than a standard dough as it helps the little rise the loaf will have.
Once you are happy everything is kneaded together, shape the dough into a round disk about 4-6cm thick. Cut a cross into the dough almost all of the way through. Put this onto a baking tray and bung it in the oven (if it is regulated to temperature) for 25 minutes. The loaf won’t rise massively but it should open up nicely to make a 4 peaked loaf. Once the loaf is cooked it should be golden brown and sound hollow when you lift it out of the oven and tap the base, if not, put it back in the oven and give it another 2 or 3 minutes more.
Once cooked leave it to cool on a wire rack. Due to the nuts and dried fruits we like ours with a strong cheese or simply topped with a slice of butter.