We all love a freshly baked loaf of homemade bread, right ? … But who has the time (or strength!!) to do all that kneading? And by the time you finally get it in the oven, you’re past your bread craving altogether!
I have the perfect solution for you. Soda bread!
This has got to be one of the easiest, most satisfying things in the world. I mean, less than 10 minutes to get from raw ingredients to oven-ready loaves – how incredible is that?! Throw in some Stilton cheese and chopped walnuts which add a delicate crunch and richness to the bread, and you have yourself an afternoon snack to die for! This recipe is a keeper!
I’m really not joking when I say this is easy – no yeast, no proving, no kneading – this is the ideal crusty bread to whip up and serve with soup for a quick supper or weekend lunch – or my favourite, toasted and slathered in butter! In fact, if you’re looking for inspiration this week, it goes PERFECTLY with this lovely tomato soup posted a few days ago!
And in the unlikely event that you have any bread left over the next day, how about toasting it with some grilled cheese (Gruyere works well) and a little peppery rocket salad on the side? Another easy but oh so tasty lunch!
Instead of making one big loaf, you could even use the dough to create 9 of these super cute mini loaves – perfect little portions to freeze alongside your soup for the week… You can either shape them by hand, or use these great little disposable loaf tins
Looking for other tasty flavour twists? How about adding a few small chunks of apple to compliment the Stilton with a burst of something sweet? Or have a go with sun-dried tomatoes and fresh herbs.
Share your favourite flavour combinations in the comments below!
- 100g Stilton cheese
- 75g walnuts, roughly chopped into small pieces
- 300g plain white flour
- 200g wholemeal flour, plus extra for dusting
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tsp table salt
- 400ml buttermilk
- Heat the oven to 180C / 355F and cover a baking tray with baking paper
- Tip the walnuts into a bowl and crumble over the Stilton. Mix well
- Tip the plain and wholemeal flour into a large bowl, add the bicarbonate of soda and salt and mix well. Then mix in the Stilton and walnuts
- Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture and pour in the buttermilk. The buttermilk will start reacting with the bicarbonate of soda right away and this is what makes the bread rise, so you need to work quickly here and make sure your oven is ready
- Use a wooden spoon to gently mix in the buttermilk to form a soft dough. If it is too dry and there are crumbs left in the bottom of the bowl, add more buttermilk or milk one tablespoon at a time. If the mixture is too sticky, add a tablespoon of wholemeal flour
- Sprinkle wholemeal flour over a flat surface, tip the mixture out of the bowl and shape it into a ball. The more you handle the dough, the tougher the bread will be, so be as gentle as possible
- Place the ball on the baking sheet, cut a deep cross into the top of it, and lightly dust with flour
- Bake for 35 minutes, or until golden-brown and cooked through - it should sound hollow when tapped on the base
- Remove from the oven, cool on a wire rack and enjoy
- This can last for up to a week in an airtight container or wrapped tightly in cling film
- Freezes well for up to 3 months
- If you don't have any buttermilk to hand, a great trick I have used many times is to mix 800ml milk with a couple of teaspoons of lemon juice and leave to rest for 15 minutes. It works in exactly the same way as the buttermilk and gives you a really lovely bread