I really enjoyed watching the Great British Bake Off this year: fabulous recipes and brilliant inspiration. One of the things I was most inspired by was the week when the contestants made soda bread. I love the idea of a loaf of bread that can be made in under an hour – that’s my kind of bread! I was also tremendously inspired by the sheer number of different and exciting flavour combinations the contestants put into their breads: there was Dorret’s Walnut and Stilton Bread, Alvin’s Prosciutto and Manchego Bread and even a Chocolate Bread!
I really wanted to make my own soda bread and had a good think about all the possible flavour combinations I thought might work: I wanted to make it simple to make, but super tasty. I decided on a 50/50 mix of plain white and rye flour with added flavour and crunch from a few pumpkin seeds. I tested it on the family and, amazingly, it worked first time round. My little boy couldn’t get enough of it! In fact, he the hoovered up all the leftover pumpkin seeds too! My daughter however picked out all the pumpkin seeds…but hey managing to please one out of two children ain’t bad!
I made it again for the photographs and it worked like a treat the second time too. It is such a straightforward recipe. If you follow the instructions below, I really can’t see how you could go wrong. It’s super quick to make too. It only takes 40 minutes from start to finish and only 10 minutes of that is hands-on time. There’s no kneading or proving to do at all, you just mix together the ingredients, shape into a loaf and bake – easy peasy!
I used Doves Farm Wholemeal Rye Flour, but if you don’t fancy (or have any) rye flour, this works fine with half wholemeal and half plain flour (and I’m pretty confident it would work with 100% white flour too). If you don’t like (or haven’t got) pumpkin seeds then substitute with any other nut or seed you love or just leave them out completely.
This bread would go brilliantly with my Leek and Potato Soup or my Easy Peasy Vegetable Soup, but I made this bread specifically to go with my Butternut Squash, Chilli and Coconut Milk Soup, which I will be posting on the blog tomorrow! Alternatively you could serve this bread up with a board of cheese, cold meats and olives for a rather scrumptious picnic tea.
The only sad thing is that soda bread doesn’t keep all that well…which just means you have to eat it all up in one go…shame!
- 175g plain white flour, plus a little extra for dusting your baking tray
- 175g rye flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 25g pumpkin seeds (plus extra for decoration)
- 285ml buttermilk
- Preheat your oven to 200C. Dust a baking tray (I actually use a pizza tray) with a little plain flour.
- Mix all the dry ingredients together thoroughly. Tip in the buttermilk and stir to combine.
- Keep stirring until the ingredients come together as a dough, then squidge together to form a ball.
- Place the ball of dough on your baking tray and cut a deep cross in the centre. This is really important as it helps the centre of the bread to cook properly – so cut nice and deep, almost to the bottom.
- Decorate the loaf with a few extra pumpkin seeds and place the loaf in the preheated oven for 30 minutes.
- Serve with soup or cheese, olives and cold meats.
I am linking this up to Recipe of the Week, Cook Blog Share, and Tasty Tuesdays