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Weekend Cooking: Soda Bread

This is the easiest bread in the world to make, and it tastes (and smells) divine too! This isn’t the only recipe I have for soda bread, but it’s my favourite one, and the simplest. I’ve been making it for my baby, Hugh, since he started eating ages ago, and now I make it every week because the three of them go through it pretty fast.

This recipe is from the River Cottage Baby & Toddler Cookbook, which I reviewed here some months back. This is just one of the many recipes I make from this book, which are mostly family recipes rather than dumbed-down, mashed-up baby food recipes. This is a British book, so it doesn’t have cup measurements I’m sorry, but everyone should have a good pair of scales in the house anyway, right?

________________________________

SODA BREAD

500g plain white flour, or a combination of white and wholemeal or spelt flour
1 level tsp of bicarb soda [baking soda]
1/2 level tsp of fine sea salt (omit for babies under 1)
300ml plain, full-fat yoghurt
200ml whole milk

Preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF and line a large baking tray with baking paper.

Sift the flour, bicarb soda and salt into a large mixing bowl and stir to combine.

In a measuring jug, measure the yoghurt and milk and mix together.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix together. It will form a very sticky dough. Shape into a ball with well-floured hands, or scoop it straight onto the tray and shape with a spatula.

Bake for about 45 minutes for 1 loaf, or about 25-30 minutes for 2. You can also make it into 10 small rolls, which will need 20 minutes.

________________________________

Shannon’s tips:
This is what I’ve learnt from making it lots of times:
– measure the milk into the jug before the yoghurt, because it’s pretty hard to know if you’ve reached the right amount of yoghurt, but with the milk in first, you add yoghurt until the liquid reaches the 500ml mark. Much easier!
– I do about 400g plain flour and 100g wholemeal flour (young babies can’t digest a lot of fibre); this gives it a bit of a nutty flavour without making it too heavy.
– 2 loaves are better to make than one, because one large loaf doesn’t always cook in the middle very well, and
– you can start eating one and pop the other in the freezer, for later.
– Even with a bit of salt added, the bread will still go mouldy a lot quicker than shop-bought bread with all their additives, so keep it in the fridge to help it last longer, especially in summer.
– Babies find this very easy to eat, plain or with butter or cream cheese, or for older babies, honey or jam or peanut butter, but I only toast it lightly, as toasting it makes the crust harder for them to eat. It’s also fantastic for making grilled cheese on toast and eggy bread! (French Toast)
– It’s yummy for everyone, especially once you smell it (when you toast it, it smells like “real” bread, y’know, made with yeast. It’s quite extraordinary!).



Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, beer, wine, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog’s home page. More information at the welcome post.

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