I suppose along with onions and potatoes, carrots are one of those kitchen staples and there's rarely a day that goes by when I'm not using them. Most often they are relegated to supporting player but this week they are the star.
I've been meaning to get back into the bread making habit and as a way to ease myself back into it, I'm starting off with soda breads. I like the almost instant gratification - there's no waiting for yeast to activate or dough to rise - you basically make the dough and then bake it. The only drawback is that these are breads that are best enjoyed fresh and tend to go very hard very quickly.
However, the recipe that follows actually stays pleasantly soft even well into the second day - the secret, grated carrot added to the dough.
adapted from BBC Olive Magazine
150 grams wholemeal plain flour
2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
2 carrots, finely grated (about 150 grams)
50 grams sunflower seeds
300 grams plain yoghurt
½ cup milk, approx
Preheat your oven to 180°C placing an oven tray inside the oven to heat up as well. This will help to send heat to the underside of your loaf.
Sift together the plain and wholemeal flours and bicarb into a large bowl - crumble in a large pinch of sea salt and give it a little stir to mix through.
Sprinkle in the sunflower seeds and grated carrot and stir again so that the carrots are evenly spread through the flour. Make a well in the center and add the yoghurt and half the milk - stir this through and then continue adding the milk until it forms a slightly sticky dough. It's important that you don't work this too much or you'll end up with a rock like result.
Tumble this out onto a floured board and gently bring it together to form a ball. Slash the top to form a cross and carefully place the loaf on baking paper.
Place the baking paper on the preheated tray and bake for about 30-40 minutes or until golden and cooked through.
Let it cool slightly on a wire rack before eating.
This bread has a fabulous crust and as mentioned earlier, stays moist. If you want a sweeter flavour, use a thick vanilla flavoured yoghurt.