Tuesday, November 16, 2010


If the bread in the basket is warm and grainy when I go to a restaurant I know I should order a light meal. With a knob of salty butter melting into the holes and dips, there's no holding back and frankly, how could anything that follows be better? I love soggy bread too. Bread and butter pudding, pappa al pomodoro, and another hunk of fresh bread to soak up the soup. And nothing beats cutting into a fresh loaf.

As much as I love bread though, it's easy to forget the effort involved. Hours spent mixing, kneading, waiting, and it's all disappeared before you know it. Which is why Soda bread is my favourite kind of bread; Still the same heavenly smells, still the tingly toes, still the desire to eat it all in one go...but in half the time. No need to knead, leaven, re-knead and re-leaven, just mix and put in the oven.

Cook it just before a dinner party and not only will your guests be fainting from the smell but they won't even notice your starter is shop bought and your main is burnt.


INGREDIENTS for one medium loaf

500g malt bread flour
2tbsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tsps grape nuts
1 tbsp oats
200ml milk
300g natural yoghurt
handful mixed seeds

1 small apple, sliced, skin on
1 tbsp demerera sugar

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees C or 500 degrees F. Prepare a medium sized loaf, rubbing the bottom and the sides with unsalted butter and a dusting of plain flour.

Mix the flour, the bicarbonate of soda, the oats and grape nuts evenly in a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the centre of the flour and pour in the yoghurt and milk. With a fork, mix in the wet with the dry. The mixture will be sticky and wet still but this is how you want it.
Take half the mix and spread it into the bottom of the tin.

Now, lay the sliced apples on top and sprinkle with the sugar. When cooked with the bread they will soften slightly but not lose their shape. Pour over the remaining dough and sprinkle with the seeds.

Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes, checking it at half time by pushing a clean knife or skewer through the middle. At the end of the baking time, it may still be slightly wet but take it out and let it rest for 30-45 minutes before breaking loose and diving in.

This bread is fantastic with savoury dishes as well as a good jam - try a apple soda cheese on toast for a lovely fromage/pomme combination, or with salted butter and marmite.
Warning: It may bring a tear to your eye.


  1. Wow. This looks amazing. I will be making it very soon! Thank you. Just found your blog, via Prepped, via The Pink Whisk - ah the joys of blogging! Love it!

  2. Lovely to have you on board!! Let me know how it goes if you make it x