By Rose Fooks
We adore rustic soda bread as it’s delightfully simple to rustle up.
For the ultimate winter warmer enjoy this loaf straight from the oven with a scrumptious bowl of comforting soup. It's ideal served with a hearty chicken soup such as Baxters Favourites Chicken Broth. This recipe makes one loaf that will serve four.
There’s nothing more domestic goddess/godly than pulling a freshly baked loaf from the oven to accompany a simple mid-week meal. But honestly, this looks a million times more impressive than it really is. With no proving time and minimal kneading, soda bread is much simpler than most bread to make. The difference here from a regular loaf is that soda bread uses bicarbonate of soda (as opposed to yeast) as the raising agent. So just as when it’s used in cakes it doesn’t require time proving in order to activate.
The addition of cheese and fresh chives elevate this simple bread to something more special. It’s ideal for soup dipping, but we also love using it as a great canapé base. By slicing it and cutting bite-sized chunks and topping it with a spiral of smoked salmon or a smidge of pate you can create a unique canapé in minutes.
- Heat the oven to 200C/Gas 6. In a jug combine the yoghurt and stout. Put the flours, salt, bicarbonate of soda, seeds, chives and three quarters of the cheese in a bowl and add the yoghurt mixture. Mix until just combined, don't worry about floury patches at this stage. Set aside for about 10 mins, doing this will make the dough more workable.
- Knead the dough until smooth, it will be quite sticky. With floury hands shape the sticky dough into a ball and place onto a well-floured baking tray. Flatten down the top to create a thick disk and sprinkle over the remaining cheese and seeds. Use the side of a floured wooden spoon to press a deep cross into the top of the loaf. Bake for 30 mins. Transfer to a wire rack to cook.
- 200g natural yoghurt
- 80ml Guinness or another stout
- 230g plain flour
- 100g plain wholemeal flour
- 1/4tsp sea salt
- 1tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1tbsp pumpkin seeds, plus extra for the top
- A handful of chives, snipped into cm lengths
- 60g leftover cheese, grated or crumbled we used a mixture of Colston Bassett and Cheddar
Rose Fooks, Deputy Food Editor at Future plc, creates recipes, reviews products and writes food features for a range of lifestyle and homes titles including Goodto, Style at Home and woman&home. Since joining Future, Rose has had the pleasure of interviewing cookery royalty, Mary Berry, enjoyed the challenge of creating a home-based, lockdown baking shoot for woman&home, and had her work published in a range of online and print publications, including Feel Good Food.
Rose completed a degree in Art at Goldsmiths University and settled into a career in technology before deciding to take a plunge into the restaurant industry back in 2015. The realisation that cookery combined her two passions - creativity and love of food - inspired the move. Beginning as a commis chef at The Delaunay, Rose then worked at Zedel and went on to become a key member of the team that opened Islington’s popular Bellanger restaurant.
In order to hone her patissier skills, Rose joined the Diplome de Patisserie and Culinary Management course at Le Cordon Bleu. Rose ran a food market in Islington championing local producers and cooked for a catering company that used only surplus food to supply events, before finding her way into publishing and food styling.
Other than cooking, writing and eating, Rose spends her time developing her photography skills, strolling around her neighbourhood with her small, feisty dog Mimi, and planning the renovation of a dilapidated 17th-century property in the South West of France.
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