This bread tastes amazing and can be made under one hour.
So I found out at 6pm today that I had agreed to go to a potluck that night. Which started at 7.30pm. I needed something that I could churn out in an hour with ingredients I had around the house and I immediately went: Soda Bread.
Soda bread is a quickbread, and uses baking soda as a raising agent instead of yeast. The baking soda reacts with the acidity of the buttermilk to produce bubbles, which gives the rise.
The lovely ‘X’ pattern is supposed to let the devil out of the bread. So I did it. Because nobody wants the devil in their bread. (But really it’s just to help the bread cook evenly).
The smell of this bread was a-ma-zing. I had to carry this bread through the 30 mins walk from my house to the place of the potluck and every single passer-by did a double take when I passed by them. I basically had bread perfume. My friend thought it smelled a lot like chicken pie while I thought it smelled like French onion soup.
Anyway this bread smells and tastes delicious. It had a soft and tender crumb with a crunchy crust. Best of all, from start to finish it only takes 1 hour, so I really encourage you to try it!
I got this recipe from Paul Hollywood.
- 250g plain flour
- 250g plain wholemeal flour
- 1 tsp baking soda/bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 400ml buttermilk
- Two onions, finely diced (raw)
- 200g cheese (I used cheddar)
- About 1 tbsp dried thyme (optional)
- About 1 tbsp dried rosemary (optional)
- In a large bowl, mix together the two flours, baking soda, salt, onion, cheese, and dried herbs.
- Make a well in the center and add half the buttermilk. Use a wooden spoon to mix the dry ingredients into the buttermilk. Slowly add the rest of the buttermilk and mix until you get a sticky dough which can hold together. You might not need all the buttermilk.
- Transfer to a well-floured work surface and form into a ball. DO NOT KNEAD or your bread will taste tough and not tender.
- Transfer onto a lined baking sheet and dust a layer of flour on top. Sprinkle some dried thyme/rosemary on top if you want as well.
- Using a bench scraper (or a serrated knife), score the dough with a deep cross, cutting all the way down to the baking sheet.
- Sprinkle the top of the bread with a bit of flour and bake at 200°C for 30 mins, or until golden brown.
- Let cool on a wire rack, and try to eat on the day itself.
- I didn’t have any buttermilk so I substituted using a mixture of 3/4 natural yoghurt and 1/4 water. You get the same result, don’t worry (I have tried this recipe using buttermilk before).
- If you want to go to the other end of the bread-time spectrum, check out my sourdoughs, which usually take more than half a day to make but yields an intensely bready flavour.