JOANNA'S FOOD: family cooking, from scratch, every day

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Our daily soda bread, with yoghurt

I can't remember the last time I bought a loaf of bread, and most of the bread I have been baking has been this remarkably quick and easy soda bread - no yeast required, on the table in under an hour. We haven't got bored with it, because I make it with a variety of different flours ... wholemeal, spelt, five-grain, white, malted - if it looks good in the shop, I'm happy to buy it. This makes a change from the no-knead yeasted oat bread I've been making for the past few weeks.

I used to think that this was second best .. because it's a soda bread, because there's no yeast. Not any more. It's absolutely first-rate, with the added bonus of making baking with yeast seem like a pleasure to look forward to, rather than something else to feel guilty about not doing.

The recipe is a hybrid, using cup measurements for the flour, and a jug measuring mililitres for the liquids - it works for me, so that I can sort out the ingredients in a matter of moments. That's the key - anything to make it easier than going out and buying a loaf in a plastic bag. So it's worth taking the time to work out the easiest way for you to measure this out ... and then you'll find you make a variation of this all the time.

Soda bread with yoghurt

3 cups of flour
granulated sugar
baking powder
400 ml skimmed milk
Greek 0% yoghurt

Heat the oven to 180C

In a large bowl, mix one cup of ordinary white flour with two cups of fancier flour. Add a pinch of salt, a teaspoon of sugar and a tablespoon of baking powder. Measure 400ml of milk into a jug, and mix in one large tablespoon of Greek yoghurt. Add this to the flour and mix well by hand (10 seconds - there's no kneading with soda bread). Pour into a large greased loaf tin and bake for 45 minutes.


* If you don't have American cup measures, the flour should weigh 420-450g. It will save a great deal of time if you can equate the amount of flour to a utensil in your kitchen, such as a mug.

* If you like, you can use 400ml beer instead of the milk and yoghurt mixture.

* The mixture I like best is Bacheldre Watermill Malted 5-Seed flour (from Waitrose), which contains sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, golden linseeds, sesame seeds, and fennel seeds. The fennel is particularly noticeable, and I am going to experiment using fennel with other flours.

* It doesn't keep forever, but it's fine the next day.

* If I use buckwheat flour, I reverse the ratio, and use two cups of white, one of buckwheat ... otherwise it makes rather a solid loaf.

* Here's a link to other breads I make - none of them are complicated (this one will come up first until I post about bread again, just scroll down past it to find other ideas).


Anonymous said...

I'm with you. Anything but that plastic wrapped bread. Thanks for this quick and easy recipe.

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Joanna this is really looking good! I've always enjoyed soda bread. Must admit though, I've only made it for St Patty's Day - silly me. You've created a master recipe - love the way you change the flours and so the bread! Brilliant!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

Like Tanna, I've always associated soda bread with St. Patrick's Day. That's the only time people made it where I grew up in Rhode Island. You know, I've never made a soda bread before. I think that may change now.

Joanna said...

Thanks for kind words all of you.

I'm too chaotic to make yeast bread regularly, although I could probably get back into it if I made another sourdough starter (I threw the last one away after several weeks of neglect, and now know that this was an unnecessary waste, it just needed a little flour for a few days to become sweet and useable again). So soda bread is a wonderful standby, and less likely to go wrong ... I plan to do a bread-making course to improve my confidence as well as skills in this area.

Of course soda bread is a real Irish tradition, but this is not a very Irish version - I want to work on that next, to make one of those lovely round loaves with slice marks etched into the crust ... any good recipes ladies??

And Tanna you don't need telling that the quality of the flour is key ... I spend as much as I can on flour, and still my bread costs less than industrial bread. So satisfying ;)


Anonymous said...

Hello Joanna, thanks for your comment, I posted the dipping sauce. Hope to continue my adventure with HotM-worthy cookies. Don't post my first take.

Figs, Bay, Wine said...

I'm so impressed with you and your bread making - the house must smell heavenly. I remember doing that for a little while a few years back, and it is one of those things that once you get into the habit, it doesn't feel like so much of a production. And, of course, there's nothing like homemade bread! Really looking forward to trying your soda bread. It's always been one of my favorites.

Anonymous said...

Soda bread is delicious but it doesn't keep....that's if there is any left over.

We regularly bake a quick no knead yeast bread Ballymaloe Brown Bread aka Doris Grant Loaf. Only eat shop bought in an emergencey!

Karin W. said...

Soda bread keeps very well in the freezer. I never get bored with it either.

When making bread, it is often critical to use precise measurements. I've tried American bread recipes and cup measurements are difficult to convert into the metric kitchen when it comes to the correct amount of flour.

Wheat flour in other countries contains varying amounts of gluten-forming proteins. It determines its use in a recipe. [In Sweden 1 dl (100 ml) plain wheat flour weighs ab. 60 grams].