Let Them Eat Bread

20 Jul

Yesterday was a big first for me.  I made bread.  Yup, real bread.  My very own bread.  Please excuse me, I am still a little bit stunned by it.

I used to make biscuits and scones when I was in my teens, but making bread always seemed a bit too hard, or maybe a bit too hippyish.  People who made their own bread were “back to earthers” with huge gardens, wood burning stoves, and irregular bathing habits.

Well, to be fair, I was in my teens!  Now I’m nearing fifty and discovering that I am enjoying expanding my cooking repertoire to include baking again.  I haven’t made a biscuit or a scone since I was in my early twenties.  This will probably change, but, for the moment, I am luxuriating in my new found bread making skills.

Not that it takes much skill to make soda bread.  Which is what I made.  I haven’t the time to faff around with yeast and proving the dough.  Quick and dirty Irish soda bread is the way to go for me.

Once again, I can thank Hugh Fernley-Whittingstall for the push.  I was watching the “River Cottage Every Day” episode on bread on Saturday evening.  Hugh visited a baker and they made soda bread.  Hugh made traditional soda bread, but the baker made a version containing apples, cheese and Guinness.  I was surprised at how quick it was to make a loaf of bread, so I decided to make one for myself.

The problem with ideas from television is that you don’t have all the instructions, including things like oven temperature, and exact measurements.  A quick google just left me confused when I found literally hundreds of different soda bread recipes with massive variations in oven temperature and cooking time.  I decided to go with a mean average which resulted in an oven temperature of 200 degrees C and a cooking time of 30 minutes.  Worked a treat.

I was very proud when I pulled my scrumptious smelling loaf soda bread with chia, sesame, and poppy seeds, out of the oven.

I served warm buttered slices of it with my homemade onion soup for dinner.

Bloody delicious.

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