Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Bread by any other name

I haven't been baking much bread recently, at least not in the conventional sense. Bread is something I do tend to go through phases with, and I'm in a 'not baking bread' phase, which I feel a little uncomfortable about, but there we go. We're not eating that much conventional bread day to day. The kids prefer wraps rather than traditional sandwiches, and, despite everything Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall says, I'm just not up for knocking up tortillas that would undoubtedly be declared substandard when presented to them for packed lunch.

The Husband has been taking soup to work rather than sandwiches too, and frankly if there's bread in the house, I just eat it. All. Toasted and spread thickly with peanut butter. So it's better if there isn't any knocking around at all.

But there are occasions when bread of sorts is required, and to that end I've been resorting to the quick breads that don't require any kind of leavening agent, or if they do, rely on the cake maker's friends. baking powder and bicarbonate of soda. Soda bread, corn bread, naans. All delicious in their own way, all really simple and easy. Not bread in the satisfying knead, prove, bake sense, but good nonetheless.

Oatmeal & Honey Soda Bread

300g plain white flour
200g medium oatmeal, plus extra for sprinkling
2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
200g clear honey
200ml plain yoghurt
100 ml milk

Pre-heat the oven to 200C.

Rub a little oil over a baking sheet and sprinkle over some extra oatmeal.

Combine the flour, oatmeal, salt and raising agents in a bowl, measure in the honey and then combine the yoghurt and milk and mix this together to make a dough.

Turn out onto your work surface, knead briefly, then form into a round and pat down till it's about 5cm thick. Place on the prepared baking sheet.

Score a cross into the top of the dough and scatter over some more oatmeal, then bake in the oven until the loaf sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom - around 20-25 minutes.

Leave to cool a little on a rack, but to enjoy at its best, leave the breath of the oven on the loaf before consuming.


  1. Love how rustic your bread looks, perfect with soup :-) x

  2. I love soda bread and I love the look of this one. Oddly I find making soda bread more satisfying than conventional bread. Somehow I'm always surprised that it works and that it tastes so good. The breath of the oven is such a nice phrase - I'm determined to use that at least once a day for the next week.

    1. I must confess that I knicked the phrase from Nigella...

  3. Nobody tells you that the older you get the fussier you get about bread! I can't buy commercial bread anymore, it's just pants. This on the other hand...

    1. I know what you mean. On the bright side, an amazing artisan bakery has just opened up in our nearest town - the best kind of sourdough bread available Tues-Saturday...

  4. i try and bake break every Friday if I can but life has taken over recently and I haven't baked for 3 weeks which I feel dreadful about so I know how you feel. This rustic loaf looks and sounds very good... just the inspiration we need!

    1. Thanks Dom, yes I was trying to bake for the weekends, but even that has gone oyt of the window - but as I mentioned above, there's this fab artisan bakery just opened in town so I can feel a little easier about my lack of bread baking...

  5. that bread looks amazing... off to buy oats and yoghurt now...


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