Brrrr!!! This has been one cold snowy week. I swear it's been snowing ever since Sunday and it feels like -33C. I don't know what's worse the cold weather or the continuous snowsquall warnings.
Anyway, if this weather indicates anything it's a piping hot bowl of soup and some fresh baked bread.
Gosh I love making bread! There's something about the routine and process of kneading the dough with your hands that lull's you into a sense of calm. It's almost like a form of meditation. HA! I bet you never thought you'd hear that about food.
It's very true though.
Quick breads are also pretty easy and fun to make. Like this Soda bread.
I prefer to make breads that need yeast, time, and the art of rising ...Am I the only one out there? But this soda bread can also give you a lovely rustic loaf of bread with the magic of: BAKING SODA!
Ok so it's not as amazing as I make it sound, however, with just a few ingredients, a little mixing, and 40 minutes in the oven you can have have a crunchy-on-the-outside, soft-on-the-inside beautiful rustic whole grain loaf of bread.
Hearty and delicious.
This bread is also free form so there's no need to worry about moulding moulding into a loaf pan. Just form the dough into a ball with your hands, knead a few times on a floured surface, then form into a round disc and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. You'll also have to make two cuts on the top of the loaf for it to bake properly. Using a serrated knife gently cut an X into the dough about 1 inch deep and then bake.
This is loaf especially goes well with some homemade soup. The perfect winter meal. It's really good with steaming bowl of Vegetable Orzo Chicken Soup.
Whole Grain Soda Bread (makes 1 loaf)
(Adapted from Alive magazine)
- 1 1/4 cups red fife flour
- 1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup oat bran
- 1/2 cup wheat germ
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 2 cups low-fat or 1% buttermilk, plus extra for brushing
- 1 Tbsp rolled oats for garnish
- Preheat oven to 375* F.
- In a large mixing bowl, stir together flour, wheat bran, oat bran, wheat germ, sea salt, and baking soda.
- Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and add buttermilk. Using a spoon or fork, stir the buttermilk into the flour making small circles working your way outward to incorporate all the flour.
- Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. The dough will be sticky. With floured hands, knead the dough a 4-6 times. Form into a ball and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Press into a 6 inch round.
- Using a serrated knife, make a large X across the top, cutting 1" inch deep.
- Brush the top with a little buttermilk and sprinkle with oats.
- Bake for 45 minutes until the crust is nice and browned and a tester or knife inserted in the centre comes out clean.
- Transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly before cutting and serving.