I try staying away from eating too much bread. Summer, bikini's, you know. But I think freshly baked bread is one of the simplest, most delicious things there is. I like it best when it's fresh, with salted butter. Or under bruschetta. Mmm. I've been wanting to bake my own for quite a while now. I kept putting it off, because I thought it would be difficult. It turns out, baking bread is actually kind of easy. At least, this bread is. Curious? Jump!
I've used a recepy for Iris Brown Soda Bread, from 'Homemade' by Yvette van Boven. Because it doesn't contain yeast the dough doesn't have to rise and you can put it in the oven straight away. Because we were with just the two of us I took only half of the ingredients.
250 grams of flour
250 grams of whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 tea spoon of salt
400 ml of buttermilk
Some butter to line the baking tray
Preheat the oven at 200 degrees and line a baking tray with a little bit of butter. Do this first, because your hands are going to get dirty! Take a bowl and put a sieve above it. Pour the dry ingredients through the sieve, so you won't get lumps in your dough. Pour in the buttermilk. Be careful, I used too much the first time and had to add more flour to balance it. The dough was so sticky I could barely even roll it into a ball anymore. Add a little bit of buttermilk at a time so you can check whether you need more or not. If the dough is really sticky you've used too much, if there's still a lot of dry flour you need a little more. Roll it into a big ball, sieve some flour on it and carve a big cross on top.
The original recepy says that the bread should be finished in 30 minutes. Mine wasn't. I think it's my oven that was falling short. If you have an oven/microwave combination like I do you might experience the same problem. I had my bread in the oven for about 45 minutes, it still wasn't dry all the way through. Just a teeny tiny bit moist. But I decided that was just the way I liked it.
We ate the Soda Bread for dinner, with a nice salad of roasted vegetables and mozzarella. Simple, but so good.
Put your veggies in a baking tray and add a good jug of olive oil. Roast for about 20 minutes, depending on the vegetables you're using. We had peppers, eggplant, red onion and carrots. If they're starting to brown, they're done. Squeeze a lemon and add some fresh basil. Eat with the bread and some slices of mozzarella. Feels like summer!