For my first post, I thought I’d make something I’d never ever attempted before – bread.
Usually, bread takes ages to make, what with waiting for the dough to rise, knocking it back and then waiting for it to rise again before baking it, but I didn’t have that much time, so instead I decided to go with something which I later discovered (from my mother) to be soda bread: Nigel’s Lazy Loaf.
I’ve recently got into Nigel Slater’s work after stumbling across an episode of his show, Nigel Slater’s Simple Suppers, on BBC iPlayer. He’s a big fan of simple yet awesome food, and so I was instantly enamoured with his recipes and methods. The recipe I’m making today is from his latest episode, New Year Suppers, which is packed with interesting ideas, some of which I will probably end up cooking myself, such as mussels in cider and garlic (yum!).
For today though, soda bread is what I will be sticking with, and for this you need the following ingredients:
- 225g plain flour
- 225g wholemeal flour (I just used more plain flour as I’m not hugely keen on wholemeal bread)
- 1tsp salt
- 1tsp caster sugar
- 1tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 300ml plain live yoghurt
- Splash of milk
There are a few small discrepancies between the version of the recipe I linked to above and the version on New Year Suppers, so I’m going with the broadcast version.
This is a very simple recipe. Firstly, preheat your oven to 220 degrees centigrade (gas mark eight) and put a casserole dish in to heat up. Secondly, put the flour, salt, sugar and bicarbonate of soda together in a large-ish bowl. Then add a little milk to the yoghurt to make it a bit easier to pour, and add this to the flour. Stir together with a spoon until it begins to come together, and then get your hands in there and get it all properly mixed up.
Once the dough has come together and isn’t sticking to the bowl any more, get your casserole dish from the oven and dust the bottom with flour to stop the bread from sticking. Plonk the dough inside, dust the top with a little more flour, and score a small cross in the top of the dough. Put the lid on and place the whole thing in the oven for about half an hour to bake.
I’ll be honest – my bread didn’t quite come out as I’d planned. I think I put a little bit too much milk in the yoghurt, which made the dough a little bit too moist. Consequently, the bread took a little longer than it should have done to bake, and was a little heavy inside. Still, it’s delicious with butter, although it probably won’t be any good for sandwiches.
All in all, a good first try. I know what to do differently next time to make the bread lighter, but I’m still pleased with how it came out this time. It’s all a learning process!