Fancy seeded soda bread

Version 2This is a quick and easy bread. There is no kneading or proofing (rising) time involved – just measuring and gently stirring the ingredients together. With baking time, it takes an hour and a quarter (depending how fast you are in measuring!). Even the implements are straightforward: three bowls, a whisk, a measuring spoon and a stirring spoon.

The recipe uses buttermilk and baking soda, and reminds of a scone recipe. The addition of an egg gives the bread some elasticity, although it is still fairly crumbly and light. It is a take on Irish soda bread, gone all fancy with seeds. Fantastic simply with butter, with jam or with mild cheese.

Fancy seeded soda bread
Adapted from LandGenuss magazine. 

You need:
Wholegrain Wheat Flour – 400g
Light Wheat Flour (cake flour) – 50g
Baking soda – 1 teaspoon
Salt – 1 teaspoon

Egg – 1
Honey – 1 Tablespoon
Sunflower oil – 2 Tablespoons (or another mild-flavoured/plain oil) plus a little for oiling the pan
Buttermilk – 425 ml (depending on the dough, perhaps a bit more – up to 450ml)

Seed mix – This is the suggestion, but feel free to adapt if you are out of something or have another type of seed you want to include.
Sunflower seeds – 1 Tablespoon
Sesame, white – 1 Tablespoon
Pumpkin seeds – 1 Tablespoon
Linseed – 1 Tablespoon
Wheat bran – 1 Tablespoon

What to do:

  1. Heat the oven to 200 C. Prepare a rectangular baking pan (about 20cm long) by coating it with sunflower oil. (I actually have a silicone pan, which is utterly non-stick and doesn’t need to be oiled. Brilliant. However, it bulges a little so my breads and cakes always look a bit stout.)
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flours, baking soda and salt. Whisk briefly to aerate (this saves you sieving the flours beforehand).
  3. Mix the seeds together in a small bowl, then keep a generous spoonful of them aside and add the rest to the flour bowl. Give it a quick whisk again to distribute the seeds.
  4. In a separate bowl, briefly whisk together the wet ingredients: egg, buttermilk, honey and oil. Then slowly add them to the dry ingredients, stirring gently but quickly with a large wooden spoon. (Actually, the best thing to use is a spoon with a hole in it. Like this:Version 2Mine belonged to my grandmother, and my mother – her daughter-in-law – has been using the exact same one for as long as I can remember. It is not technically wooden, and I don’t know if there is a proper name for this particular utensil. Wooden or not, it is very good for sticky doughs, so I recommend using it if you have one.)
  5. So after this aside on utensils we are still gently stirring the dough while adding the wet ingredients. Take care not to overmix, or knead – your aim is to combine everything quickly into a coherent mass, which will be rather wet. If yours still has dry patches, add a little more of the buttermilk.
  6. Once all is combined, fill the dough into the cake pan. Make a lengthwise cut into the top with a sharp knife and sprinkle with the reserved seeds. Then immediately put it into the oven (middle rack). Bake for 1 hour, then let it cool on a wire rack before trying your first slice with a generous amount of butter, or ricotta, or peanut butter, or…Version 2

Tell me: Have you ever made bread at home? What’s your favourite recipe?

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