This morning I treated my daughter to the smell of freshly baking bread. Don’t I sound like a brilliant mother? Can’t you just picture a Mad Men vision of pinafore and pearls, oven mitts at the ready? Well, don’t be too impressed because it was actually due to neglect on my part. When Mr A left for work I noticed the bread bin was open – empty, save for a forlorn wrap bread of unknown vintage. On the countertop there was no sign of a plate, lidless jam jar, or butter-smeared knife – universal man-signs indicating the finishing off of bread. Super-sleuth me realised that Mr A probably went out the door with just a bit of fruit for his breakfast as there was also no soya or dairy milk (ruling out cereal). As Mr A often doesn’t have time for more than a five-minute lunch (I am not exaggerating) I was feeling very guilty. In mitigation I’m neither a bread or cereal person in the morning so can be completely unaware when things reach crisis point, such as today. Short of zooming out to a shop, pre-shower/pre-face, the only thing for it was to make some bread, a quick, delicious soda bread. Although this was not going to assuage the guilt at my 6’1” husband facing the day with a ‘fun-size’ banana, at least Miss R wasn’t going to go hungry. Or me for that matter.
Soda bread is the saviour of the neglectful mother/wife, but it is more frequently made because it is truly delicious, very adaptable and quick. If you have all of the ingredients to hand you can be eating bread in about 40 minutes, which by bread standards is practically light speed (I am conveniently forgetting pan-cooked flatbreads). The reason it is so quick is because you use baking soda instead of yeast, so no rising time. It’s also not a fussy bread so you can feel free to adapt the recipe to your taste: I often add a good handful of toasted seeds, like caraway, linseeds and sunflower seeds. And you can use any milk too – goats’, soy, dairy, buttermilk or even watered down yogurt. Believe it or not I did have buttermilk (which, I suppose, would not have been nice with muesli) so that’s what I used, but I sometimes use yogurt or skimmed milk with reliable results. Use this recipe as a guide: keep the basic ‘bready’ elements but please freestyle with the flavourings. The only two caveats are that you probably shouldn’t go over 100 grams with the added bits, and that because the bread is yeast-free it also doesn’t keep well. The reason I have titled this post ‘Two Soda Breads’ is because I have done one for breakfast time (nutty and sweet) and one for a soupy supper or lunch (plain). Have a quarter of each and either share the rest or eat it warm over a day or two – lovely sliced and popped under the grill/broiler.
3 thoughts on “Two Soda Breads”
I used to bake bread every week, when you couldn’t get a decent bread anywhere (that was in the 80s!). Nowadays I never bake bread, as there are so many lovely bakers around, but I am moving to a place further out and will need to re-vamp my baking skills! this sounds very manageable. Where might I find the recipes for oat and rye soda breads? how about a combination? Thanks for the inspiration. Sandra
You are right about bread – it really has gone top drawer in past few years, and the 80s were terrible for bread and most other things too. I haven’t got rye and oat ones up as a post but I have some in my recipe documents file (which needs a jolly good tidy up!). Can I send them to you in an email? But, more importantly, where are you moving to? Rural idyll? Jealous? Moi? Lots of question marks…
Hi Kellie, please do email me a recipe or two if you’ve time, and I’ll tell you why you needn’t be jealous! I’m not sure if you see my email here, it’s sandra.riddell at talktalk.net