Something based on an Irish recipe for St Patrick’s Day.
This is adapted from a recipe by Elizabeth David in English Bread And Yeast Cookery. This amount makes one small loaf (enough for 4 people). It is an easy way of producing homemade bread in a short time.
Soda bread is leavened chemically – a much quicker alternative to yeast leavening, using the reaction of soda (an alkali) and yogurt and lemon juice (acid). It is essential to keep these two ingredients apart until you are ready to bake the bread.
- 300g plain wholemeal flour
- 3/5 of a level tsp of bicarbonate of soda
- 140ml natural yogurt
- 140ml milk
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Warm water (if the mixture is too dry)
Heat the oven to 230C (Gas Mark 8). You will also need a floured baking tray and large heatproof glass basin (to cover the loaf in the oven – this promotes a steamy atmosphere which helps the loaf to rise).
Sift the flour and soda together in a large mixing bowl.
In a jug, mix the yogurt, milk, lemon juice and olive oil.
Pour the liquid into the flour and mix as quickly as possible (add warm water if necessary – you need a dough which will stand up on its own, but which is not too crumbly).
Turn the dough onto a floured surface and form into a round, making it as high as possible.
Place on the floured baking tray, and cut a cross in the top with a sharp knife.
Cover with the large heatproof glass basin and place in the oven for 30 minutes. It will be cooked when a skewer inserted into the loaf, comes out clean. If the loaf needs some further time to cook, remove the glass basin and return to the oven until cooked.
Allow to cool before serving. It’s delicious warm with butter. Freezes well, and can be revived in the microwave.
Served here with chicken liver paté.