Spelt Soda Bread
Super Naturally Loafy
Last night greeted week two of the Great British Bake Off. Last week I started a wee series that will follow the bake off through and give healthy, natural and real food alternatives to each week themes (find out more here).
This week came my first hurdle though, the theme was bread.
In all it yeasty, gluten goodness. As you may know I am on the GAPS diet in which grains/gluten are forbidden in order for the gut and body to heal . Although I am not inherently against gluten or grains, as I believe every body is different and needs different things – my body is in a season where it is thriving off of no grains or gluten but your body may be one happy heap of flesh and bones when munching on bread. Its up to you to learn to listen to your body and give it what will make it happy! (Also don’t fear I will be posting a GAPS friendly flat bread later this week so you can get you grain free ‘bready’ fix.)
I used to make my own bread and sourdough starters, but it has been over a year since I made one and am a bit rusty, plus I have none of the ingredients in my house! So instead of inflicting this upon you I have gotten Jess Brown, expert baker, to share her wisdom. She is someone who regularly just whips up a fresh loaf to go with homemade soup, or casually brings along home-made cinnamon rolls to any Saturday brunch. She is a wondrous cook, that can make a meal from an empty larder and manage to make it nutritious and healthy. So today you are going to get her amazing advice on how to make an easy soda bread loaf.
I used to make soda bread all the time as a student because it was so quick, easy and filling. It is also super cheap to make and you can literally use it as a base for tons of yummy flavours.
So we welcome Jess Brown to Super Naturally Healthy!
A brilliant mum, house hold manager, teacher, singer, friend, a cake baking , power walking, little boy raising, world changing, genius archaeologist, who also happens to be my big sister! I love her.
I’m Jess Brown, mother of two boys, a work at home mum, cake fanatic, I love to give my family good food but I find myself cash poor. My solution? I give my food, and therefore my family, my time instead.
This is why I love baking, especially baking bread.
It is essentially very very simple and very very cheap.
Bread is supposed to be wholesome, simple, healthy, filling and tasty. The run-of-the-bread-mill loaves that I could afford to buy from the supermarket are spongy, tasteless, unsatisfying and full with empty calories/chemicals. Something had to be done. So with trepidation I started to teach myself how to make my own. Now there is no going back!
There has been the odd “Toast Only” Loaf (generally a result of rushing the proving and baking) but really there is nothing to it other than timing the stages so that you are in the house when you need to ‘knock it back’ or shove it in the oven. If I can work bread making into school runs and potty training anyone can! I dare you.
( and no using a bread maker doesn’t count – it still lacks the flavour.)
I’m telling you all this because I want you to know I’m not a natural bread maker, more of a needs must kinda girl. However, watching my boys and husband stuff their faces with: wholemeal bread rolls, toast with real butter, and the best picnic sandwiches in the history of the world or a freshly made wholemeal cheese and bacon loaf (still warm) on the beach (AMAZING!!) has made me a solid convert. Making bread yourself means it is bread in its natural form. No junk no ‘fillers’ just yum.
If you want to give it ago try soda bread. Its a great way into bread making. There is no yeast involved, brilliant if you are trying to cut it out, and all it takes is the time between bedding the kids and the Bake off starting ( less than 30min ).
It can be eaten fresh from the oven with jam and butter, toasted, dunked into soups or hearty sandwiches and when it goes a bit hard and past its best make it into eggy bread or bread and butter pudding! It can be made as a sweet or savoury loaf, filled with cheese, bacon, cinnamon, olives, raisins or toffee sauce! The options are endless!
None of this would have been possible if it wasn’t for my wonderful husband who is now addicted to my bread. He had the foresight to buy me my first bread book where I adapted this recipe from.
- 500g Stoneground Wholemeal plain flour
- 1 tsp Bicarb of soda
- 1 tsp Salt
- 400ml Kefir or organic buttermilk
- 100g Organic cheese grated - optional
- Preheat the oven to 200c and line a baking tray with parchment
- Mix all the dry ingredients together in a bowl.
- Add the Kefir to form a sticky dough. Place the dough onto a lightly floured surface and shape into a ball (this is a good point to add in flavours like cheese, bacon, herbs etc)
- Put the dough onto the baking tray and mark it into quarters cutting about halfway down.
- Bake for 30min or till its cooked. This is when it is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped on the base. Cool on a wire rack.
- This is best eaten fresh with lots of butter but freezes well too!
- Would be tasty with bacon, cheese and onion, olives, raisins, chilli, cinamon sugar, - bascially anything!
- Also this will work fine with other flour or blends - for example a 50/50 mix of spelt/wholemeal give good results too.
Next week is petit fours – so that means tiny cakes!!!