Sunday, 2 November 2014

Experimenting With Soda Bread

This last week or so I've been experimenting with making soda bread for the girls and me to eat at lunch time. 
We normally buy all our bread in one go for the week then freeze it, but then there are times when guests turn up or you get through more than you thought you would have and need some more.
I hate going to the shops so the best option for me is to make it! Trouble is I normally only realise I need it when we come to eat it. No time then to let the yeast do it's work and prove the dough. 
Soda bread always sounded like a good option. but when I tried it first of all it was far too bitter. I followed the recipe from River Cottage Bread book but it uses four teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda, it turns out that this makes it so bitter it's inedible. Evalyn pushed her plate away and said "I don't like", I didn't like either.
So I searched the internet for a better recipe and to figure out where I was going wrong. In the end I did my usual thing of bastardising a recipe and then messing with it until it tastes nice and turns out good every time.
Here is what I've come up with so far:

500g white flour,
teaspoon of salt, 
Teaspoon of Bicarbonate of soda,
350ml milk with a teaspoon of lemon juice in,
 Extra flour for dusting,

Crank the oven up to max with your bread stone in.
Add the lemon juice to the milk to make it sour.
Sieve the flour, salt and bicarbonate of soda into a bowl and mix together well.
Add the milk and mix quickly, kneed for a short while (minute) to pull it all together.
Split it in two, dust it with flour and then slap it on the bread stone.
Turn the oven down to 200 degrees and wait for 30 minute for it to cook.
It should sound hollow when you pick it up and tap it's bottom.
Eat it while it's still warm with butter and peanut butter. this bread goes stale really quickly.

Anyone else got any good instant bread recipes or other soda recipes? I've heard adding oats or an egg can make a difference as well.

29 comments:

  1. I'm not sure but it sounds like what you are making is similar to our "sour dough" bread.

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    Replies
    1. Sour dough uses a wild yeast that you keep alive with a starter that you feed. This is a yeastless recipe that uses the bicarbonate of soda to make it rise, that's why it goes stale so quickly. There's great stories of the American pioneers carrying there sour dough starter on their person as one of their most important possessions. Keeping the yeast alive as they crossed from one coast to another.

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    2. No wonder I have a hard time getting it here in Georgia then. It's not a Southern food, and I doubt many stores could keep the starter stuff alive. When I lived in California as a young man you could buy Sour Dough anywhere, so it must indeed be a western food.

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  2. We make a beer batter bread. It is yummy and easy.

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    Replies
    1. What's the recipe? Or is there a link to it? I'll try it but I don't think we've any beer in the house at the moment! Something that needs to be fixed anyway!

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    2. OK here it is.
      Oven at 350 degrees
      3 c. flour
      2 teaspoons baking powder
      1 teaspoon salt
      1 Tablespoon sugar
      Mix dry ingredients well.
      Add: 12oz can beer. Mix until well blended, but not too much
      Pour into greased and floured loaf pan
      Sprinkle handful shreaded cheese on top
      Bake 30-35 min until toothpick comes out clean.
      After 20 min cover with foil if cheese is getting too brown.

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    3. Cheers I'll try that when we've got some beer in the house! Sounds nice.
      I clicked on your name but I can't see a blog linked to it - do you have one?

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    4. Nope, no blog. Just a blog wanderer.

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  3. I will have to give this it a try, like you previous experiances soda bread have been off putting, how well does it freeze.

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    Replies
    1. It's only really to be eaten hot so I'm not sure I'd bother freezing it.

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  4. Hi Kev. We have the Stanley solid fuel range lit most of the day, now. So there is constant heat from the radiators, hot water and heat to cook bread and meals. It's just running off logs (dry) at the moment.

    Our friends Lidl do a RIVERCOTE Wheat-Rye Bread mix. Just add water. We get 2 loaves from it for 1 Euro Eighty. This converts to one pounds and forty one pence.

    Wife also makes Soda bread. Never uses yeast.

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    Replies
    1. I'll look out for that flour mix next time I'm at Lidl and try some. With the flour in this a couple of little loaves comes to about 50p so cheap enough for me!

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  5. I have been doing the "no knead bread" but that even though easy requires yeast and thus a long proofing time. I will have to try your recipe.

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    Replies
    1. I don't mind kneading, but I can never get the timings right for bread with yeast, not for lunch time anyway. That's why this is so good, I can see I've run out of bread and then just mix some of this up.

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  6. I make 8 loaves of yeasted bread at a time and freeze them, but still sometimes we run low, and baking day is still a few days away. Reading soda bread recipes has put me off trying them...but I'll give this a go! Thanks Kev!
    Jane x

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    Replies
    1. Let me know how you get on. It's not to everyone's taste but I like it. You guys are vegan though so you might have to use soya milk and see if it works the same.

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  7. As you are so busy with your work, homesteading and the girls you should get yourself a bread machine. They are well worth the investment. You can even program them to start the bread making x number of hours before you get up so that it is ready for breakfast. Failing that, throw everything in the machine after your evening meal and it is ready before you go to bed.

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    Replies
    1. I keep meaning to do a little video of our kitchen to show how small it is (I'll do it sometime next week if I can pick a day when it's clean enough). no space for a bread machine in our house just yet (although there might be when we extend). I'd love one though, some make such good bread and they're so much better than they were 15 years ago.

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  8. The soda bread looks yummy! We use a bread machine here on the farm because I am often outside doing jobs. We make the dough in it , then I put it out to rise naturally and get a softer bread as a result.

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    Replies
    1. I'm just useless with timings that's why this works for me. We're not going to eat this all the time and I will start to make more bread over the winter as it's tricky to be outside with the girls when it's raining.

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  9. That must surely have been a misprint in the River Cottage book, nobody would use FOUR teaspoons of bicarb in soda bread! I make a version where I use a teaspoon of black treacle instead of the lemon juice, and an egg, turns out very nice.

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    Replies
    1. You've made me double check but it does say 4. It's just so bitter it's terrible. Maybe some people like it like that? Do you mix the treacle with the milk?

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    2. Yes, I do mix the treacle with the milk and because it's so thick and gooey I usually give it and the milk a quick blast in the microwave to make it melt and mix better

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  10. FOUR teaspoons of bicarb does seem a bit excessive!! I'm glad you figured out how to make it for you and the girls, you can't beat warm bread and homemade soup for a cheap and nutritious lunch for grown ups AND little ones.

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    Replies
    1. I do love a good home made soup and warm bread. This was had with a squash soup. Trouble was the squash was so big I should have switched to a bigger saucepan - it was a bit thick!

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  11. Soda Bread
    500g any kind of plain flour
    10g salt
    4 tsp baking powder
    300ml buttermilk, yoghurt, milk or water or mix of what you have.
    Preheat oven to 200/gas 6
    Combine all the ingredients
    Shape into two rounds
    Bake for 20-25 mins
    No soda no bitterness at all.
    You can also flavour with herbs or dried fruit. Works every time.
    I also make up 5lbs of yeast dough in the mixer and freeze the cooked bread.

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    ReplyDelete

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