So it’s week 3 of the bake off already and we’ve discovered our favourites (and our not-so-favourites…). In honour of bread week, we’ve taken up the challenge of the signature and are making a quick bread, going for a fairly traditional cheddar, garlic and rosemary soda bread.
We knew we’d be in for a treat with bread week, and Paul did not disappoint, there was harsh judging and special commendations being handed out left, right and centre. To quote the wonderfully articulate Flora “Paul Hollywood is punching bread and shattering dreams in there”.
Soda bread is a traditional Irish loaf that doesn’t use any yeast so therefore doesn’t need any time for rising, you just mix it all together and pop it in the oven, making it really quick to make. For us this recipe is super handy for any last minute bread or side dish needs! For our Soda Bread we decided upon a classic and tasty flavour combination of sharp mature cheddar with garlic and rosemary. Although there were some excellent flavour choices seen on the bake off, like wild garlic pesto from Ian and Tamal’s fig, walnut and goats cheese, our loaf was intended to go with a soup so we didn’t want anything that would overpower it.
- 250g plain flour
- 250g wholemeal flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
- 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
- 200g mature cheddar, grated (and a little extra for decoration)
- 400ml buttermilk (you may not need all of this)
- In a large bowl, mix together the flour, salt, bicarbonate of soda, pepper and garlic powder.
- Once well combined add in the cheddar and rosemary and mix until evenly dispersed.
- Make a well in the centre of the bowl and add half the buttermilk, bring the flour into the buttermilk from the edges with your fingers or a butterknife.
- Carry on adding buttermilk until all the flour is absorbed and you're left with a sticky dough.
- Tip this out onto a floured surface and form into a flattened ball.
- Transfer to a baking sheet and make 2 deep cuts to form a cross, these should go most the way through the dough.
- Dust the top with a little flour and sprinkle on some grated cheese.
- Bake at 200°c for 30 mins until golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.
- Once you've combined the buttermilk into the mixture it is important to work quickly as the buttermilk and bicarbonate of soda will start reacting.