A great bowl of soup warrants a great chunk of bread. What better person to educate us in all the goodness that bread has to offer than business woman, bread maker, and soup contributor extraordinaire Jane Mason. Hot off the shelf and into the oven, this informative and visually stunning hardcover is a must have in any kitchen. Jane’s successful business, Virtuous Bread, is based in London and the book, all you knead is bread, is available for pre-order on Amazon. (Heather Cathcart)
“Choose from more than 50 recipes, such as pitta bread, soda bread, cinnamon buns, cheese rolls, rye bread and corn bread. Spanning wheat and the myriad other grains used from country to country, this book will teach how to make bread and understand its unique ability to bring people together to celebrate, share and enjoy it.”
Soda Bread (Ready to Eat in Less than an Hour)
- 9 oz whole meal flour (you can use white or spelt if that is all you have - don't worry about it!)
- 1 tsb salt
- 1 tsb bicarbonate of soda
- 2 teaspoons of brown sugar
- 8 fluid ounces of sour milk , or buttermilk or 1/2 plain yoghurt + 1/2 whole milk (in all cases, full fat is best)
|Heat the oven to 230 degrees centigrade before you even start to put the mixture together. By the time you are finished mixing your oven will be warm.
|Mix the ingredients altogether and give the dough a good squash around with your hands as it is difficult to stir with a spoon. The dough is very wet and this is a good thing as it makes much better bread.
|Either spoon the dough in a well greased loaf tin - about 3/4 full - or, with very wet hands, shape the dough into a round blob, put it on a baking sheet that you have lined with baking parchment and pat it into a disc. If you are baking in a tin, use a wet knife and cut a deep channel all the way down the length of the loaf. If you are baking as a blob, using a wet knife, cut an X into it at least a couple of inches deep - in fact, nearly to the bottom.
|Put the tin/tray in the oven at 230 for 10 minutes. Then reduce the heat to 200 degrees and continue to bake for a further 15 minutes. Take it out and give it a tap on the bottom. If it sounds hollow it is done. If it sounds like a dull, doughy thud, put it back in for another 5 minutes.
|Soda bread does not keep so be prepared to eat it all at once. This is not hard!
|Variations: Add raisins for a fruity loaf. Add grated cheddar or crumbled stilton for a cheesy loaf. Add some mixed seeds for a seedy loaf. Use white flour, spelt flour, kamut flour or a mixture of flour for interesting variations!
Photographs by Peter Cassidy