How to make Soda Bread

This blog post on how to make Soda Bread was written by the super talented couple behind The Loaf Tin Bakery for us here at Green Pear Eco.

Check out their Instagram feed to see some of their delicious bakes and head to their website to order yours!

They have a click and collect or a delivery service (for areas local to Saffron Walden, Essex).

You’ll have no doubt seen it in the headlines or on social media, the ‘bread baking boom of the UK lockdown’, scenes of empty supermarket shelves with flour flying out the door.

The way so many embraced home cooking and baking surely has to be seen as one of the positives to highlight during what was a rather dreary time for so many.

People who’d never thought of making their own bread at home were grabbing a mixing bowl and those simple ingredients to set to and make something delicious. 

I imagine there’s a ton of converts out there, those who fell in love with the simplicity and enjoyment of making home made fresh bread.

About The Loaf Tin Bakery

Here’s a little bit about us, we’ll keep it short.

When so many were making bread for the first time during the Covid-19 pandemic we decided to take it a step further and start our own little bakery business (The Loaf Tin Bakery).

Although we’ve been keen bakers for a while we'd be lying if we said there wasn’t quite a bit of anxiety jumping in and selling our products to customers.

We’re no experts when it comes to baking bread, we still have heaps to learn but we like to think we can produce some half decent loaves or cinnamon buns.

So when Gabs and Dan asked us to write a guest blog about ‘Making Bread’ we did question one another on where best to start. Well like with anything new surely its best to strip back to basics.

The world of bread is quite astonishing when you think about it - there are literally 100s of different types originating from places all over the world; breads from different cultures, breads from different religions, ones for special occasions, you name it, bread often takes center stage.

Back to basics

I can’t think of another food type that has so many varieties and can be found in practically every corner of the world.

If you follow any local artisan bakery you’ll probably hear word’s like, ‘pre-ferments’, ‘sourdough starters’ and ‘enriched doughs’ and yes it can sound quite confusing and complicated, especially when someone tells you that their baguettes take three days to make.

Well when it comes to bread making they say patience is key - you see, allowing certain bread doughs to rest for prolonged periods of time helps to develop the flavour, so although the actual ingredients and steps of making artisan bread are pretty simple, it does take time and patience.

So yes, time is important for developing flavour, especially when just using flour, salt, yeast and water but not everyone has the time (or patience) to be ‘stretching and folding’ their dough every 30 minutes for 2 hours.

That's why when we said we’d strip back to basics we thought we’d give you a recipe for one of the easiest, quickest and super delicious bread around, the Irish Soda Bread.

HOW TO MAKE SODA BREAD

When making Soda Bread, there's no pre-fermentation and no proving, it is so much simpler than all that. You could say that Soda Bread turns that principle of time and patience on its head.

You can have a fresh loaf of bread out the oven in less than 60 minutes from start to finish.

Soda Bread is one of the first types of bread that I was taught to make when I was younger as it really does require very little baking knowledge - it is literally a case of throwing the ingredients together, shaping into a rustic looking boule and putting it in the oven. What’s not to love!

Below we’ve included a simple Soda Bread recipe that uses just four ingredients, flour, salt, bicarbonate of soda and buttermilk - “and where on earth do I find buttermilk” I hear you say, well we nearly always use natural yogurt as a substitute as it works just as well (check our local milkman for plastic free yogurts!).

Now don’t go expecting a light pillowy loaf of bread, this is the complete opposite and to be honest you could probably break a window with it (probably best not to try). But don’t let the heaviness put you off, believe me you’ll be surprised at how delicious it is.

As we slowly see the colour of the trees turn and the nights draw in we know that the autumn and winter season is on the horizon, well Soda Bread is literally the best served warm fresh out the oven with a bowl of soup - surely perfect for an autumn Saturday lunch with friends.

So whether you’re new to the world of baking or a seasoned pro - sometimes I think simple is best so why not try this one out when you're next in the kitchen.

RECIPE:

  • 240g wholemeal bread flour
  • 100g plain flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 290ml of buttermilk or yogurt

METHOD:

1. First of all you’ll want to preheat your oven to 180c (Fan)
    2. Mix together the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl and make a well in the center. Pour in the buttermilk or yogurt and mix together with a fork to start forming a rough shaggy dough.
        • Each brand of flour is different so you might need to add a little milk (or water) if the dough is too stiff and not easy to bring together. At the same time, you don’t want the dough to be too wet or sticky - you need to find the balance.
      3. Once you’ve gathered the dough into a ball turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for a minute or two. You’ll then want to form into a round and flatten slightly before putting on a floured baking tray.

      4. Use a knife to cut a cross on the top and then put in the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until you have a nice dark colour to it. Use the trick of tapping the bottom of the loaf one you remove it from the oven, if it sounds hollow you know it's properly baked. You can either allow it to cool or serve warm and enjoy.


      Keep your bread fresher for longer with the stylish Beeswax Bread Wraps!

      When you've made this make sure to tag us @greenpeareco and @theloaftinbakery on Instagram, happy baking!



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