Soda bread – great with soups, and children!

This bread is quick and easy to make with a few simple ingredients.  It gives you a real sense of domestic-god/goddess satisfaction without worrying about kneading and proving etc.  I tend to eat a fairly low-carb diet but I’m not against carbs full stop, I just prefer them to be wholegrain, unbleached and try to eat them as an accompaniment rather than the main focus of a dish. It goes without saying that this is great with a nice bowl of soup…

and serve

I don’t bake very regularly and have found that bicarbonate of soda and baking powder lose their magic properties before I’ve even made an impression on the tub (why are the pots so big?!) but I recently discovered that you can buy both in sachets. I do normally hate things to be individually portioned and excessively packaged, but this is such a huge reduction in waste that I think it is worth it.  It also saves me from the pain of disappointing baking results when I use some that I’ve had for too long!

The simplicity and speed of the recipe meant that souper baby (almost 2 now) enjoyed helping out.  We made it in the morning and it was ready in time for lunch! I gave her her own piece of dough to make into a loaf and, unprompted, she decided it would benefit from some raisins. If I was doing that again I would have soaked the raisins in water or apple juice beforehand to stop them drying out too much in the oven, but they were ok as it was.

optional raisins

optional raisins!

Ingredients

1 lb wholemeal flour

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

pinch salt

1/2 pint natural yoghurt

1/4 pint warm water

soda bread ingredients

Instructions

Pre-heat your oven to 180 deg C and grease a baking sheet (or get your helper to do it for you).

grease the tray

Put the flour, salt and bicarb into a large bowl and mix well.

add the bicarb

 

stir well

Make a well in the centre and add the yoghurt and half of the warm water (it must be warm!). Mix the wet ingredients in well then add the rest of the water gradually to make it all just stick together. You may not need it all.

Use your hands to bring the dough together then turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and shape the dough into whatever shape you fancy.

souper baby's loaf

Score a nice St Andrew’s cross into it with a sharp knife (well, I AM Scottish) then place in the oven.

After 30 minutes turn the temperature down to 160 deg C and cook for another 15 minutes.

Remove from the oven (the loaf should sound hollow when you tap it on the bottom) and place on a wire rack to cool.

the final loaves

Enjoy while still slightly warm with lots of butter and, of course, a tasty soup!

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