Thursday, April 11, 2013

Rye & Seed Soda Bread

Seeded Rye Soda bread

8 months! That's how long it's been since the last time I posted. We've moved from one tiny island to a slightly larger one... so we're now living in Southend-on-Sea in England. Who would have thought! It's a pretty seaside place and once again we're looking forward to having family and friends visiting us in this part of the world!

Rye flour, spelt flour, salt and seeds, before mixing

One thing I've been doing recently is bake our own daily bread. I'm pleased to say that the last time we ate store bought bread is at least 3 months ago. There's been a lot of experimentation involved, so we didn't always eat the best of bread loaves. We've eaten some stodgy bread, undercooked bread, dry bread and even bread with bits of brown paper stuck to the bottom, when someone (not pointing any fingers here) mistook the brown paper for baking paper.

This is how the dough looks after a light kneading

The upside is that we've also eaten some of the best bread we've ever tried. The smell of freshly baked bread is something I can never get tired of. Bread with no preservatives and no additives. I think that's enough to keep at it.

Dough, cut into 6 wedges

The Rye & Seed Soda Bread is a staple loaf in our home. It's the quickest loaf to whip up, no need for kneading or resting, no need to let it rise and bakes in 20 mins.

Soda bread is a type of quick bread which uses bicarbonate of soda instead of yeast, as a leavening agent. You need to use an acid which reacts with the baking soda, which will create tiny bubbles of  carbon dioxide, causing the loaf to rise. Traditionally buttermilk is used, however I do not always have it in my fridge whereas I always have yoghurt, so this recipe uses a mixture of milk, yoghurt and lemon juice. You can easily  substitute this for 285ml of buttermilk if you prefer.

Lovely seeds sprinkled instead

Do not expect this loaf to be light and soft. It's a dense, wholesome loaf with a distinct nutty taste, thanks to the rye flour and the seeds. It tastes great and is perfect with thick soup or with stew. It's a firm favourite, and not just because it can be on the table in less than 45 mins ;-)