I know I've mentioned this before - World Bread Day is coming up on October 16th and Zorra from Kochtopf is hosting an event to celebrate. Either bake or buy then blog about it by the 16th.
If you might be turned off with thoughts of yeast and all that kneading rigmarole - then this type of bread provides a solution. Why not make a soda bread?
Soda bread gets it's rise from the reaction between buttermilk and baking soda. When mixed together, the soda reacts with the lactic acid in the buttermilk to form carbon dioxide bubbles - these bubbles lift the bread. The one downside of this type of bread is it's short life - though it should be fine for a few days before becoming too dry. Ideally, it's best served warm or toasted.
This recipe comes from Marie Claire's Michele Cranston and her latest book Comfort: Real Simple Food. It provides a change from plain Soda bread and shows the versatility of the bread - the recipe easily open to substitutions in the type of nuts and flavourings used.
Seeded Orange Soda Bread
[Makes one 10x21cm / 4x8 inch loaf]
450 grams plain flour
1 heaped teaspoon baking soda
1 heaped teaspoon cream of tartar
2 tablespoons soft brown sugar
1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest
2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
2 tablespoons poppyseeds
500mls/2 cups buttermilk
2 tablespoons melted butter
Preheat oven to 200°C/390°F. Use some of the melted butter to butter (and flour) your bread pan. You will use the remaining butter later.
Sift the flour, baking soda and cream of tartar into a bowl, making sure they are well combined. Add the brown sugar, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds and orange zest. Stir to ensure they are well mixed through.
Make a well in the centre of the bowl and slowly pour in the buttermilk - stirring to draw in the dry ingredients, add more buttermilk when the mix starts to feel stiff. Once all the milk is adding you should have a pourable dough.
Scoop this dough into the prepared loaf pan, roughly flatten off the top. Pour over the remaining melted butter before placing it in the oven for 30 minutes.
Reduce the temperature to 150°C/300°F and cook for another 30 minutes or until cooked through (use a skewer to test and when it comes out clean when inserted into the centre of the loaf, the bread is cooked).
Place on a wire rack to cool. The melted butter gives it a wonderfully crunchy crust, very biscuity in texture.
Cut into thick slices and serve it warm with some honey or jam. Toast the next day for breakfast and serve with lashings of real butter.
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