Stormy, rainy, cold weather demands a warming bowl of soup. The steam rising to kiss your face and welcome you out of the cold. Scalding spoonfuls singeing your tastebuds as you swallow, soothed by cooling cream. Everyone has different tricks to cool the soup down: spoon from the walls of the bowl instead of plunging your spoon into the centre of the soup, stir frequently, blow gently over the spoon. Interestingly, even though we know we’ll burn ourselves, no one leaves it to cool down!
Soups beg to be dunked! Crusty bread, toasted croutons, fried bread!
Whereas a bowl of soup on its own may leave you rifling through the fridge an hour later, a bowl of soup and some bread make for a very decent lunch, light supper or part of a 2 course meal.
Sliced bread just won’t do.
So you will either need to ensure no one attacks the baguette you bought especially for dunking or you could just make a quick no knead, no prove straight from the oven soda bread; crusty on the outside with a light and moist crumb. Easy to put together in 5mins and baked in a hot oven for 30mins.
…no knead, no prove straight from the oven crusty soda bread…
Soda bread is easy to make. I use a Lorraine Pascale recipe as a guide but halve the quantities to bake a smaller bread and change some ingredients around to suit the ingredients I have, making it cheesy with some extra mature cheddar.
Cheddar Cheese Soda Bread
250g Plain flour
1/2 tsp Bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp Salt
20g Melted butter
1/2 tbsp Golden syrup
75g Grated extra mature cheddar
*if you don’t have buttermilk, don’t worry, this can be made by warming the milk and adding 1 tbsp lemon juice and allow to sit for 5mins.
1st: Preheat the oven to 200ºC.
2nd: Place the dry ingredients in a bowl. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix.
3rd: Once the dough has come together into a ball, flatten it out with your hands and add the grated cheese. Fold the dough over the cheese, until the cheese is incorporated. Form into a ball.
4th: With a floured wooden spoon handle, create the trademark soda bread cross, by pressing the handle into the dough to create a cross that aligns from top to bottom and left to right, intersecting in the middle.
5th: Bake for 35mins or until the bread is brown, has risen nicely and the dough where the cross intersects is not damp.
If you want fresh, warm bread but haven’t got the time to bake a loaf of bread, give this soda bread a go; it’s quick and easy to put together even when you get in from work in the evening. It’s a great vehicle for different flavours and can be left plain or you can add savoury or sweet fillings to it. Lorraine Pascale makes 2 versions, one with pitted olives and another with cinnamon and dried fruits.
It would be great to hear from you if you’ve made this before or if you give it a go. What flavour combos do you decide to go for?