Friday, 28 February 2014

Seedy Pecan and Walnut Spelt Soda Bread

Or the longest recipe title in the world. I suppose I'm nothing if not descriptive...!

Now. I've said it before and I'll say it again- I am not a bread maker. I am quite simply not patient enough for the proving, resting, kneading, and everything else that goes into breadmaking because quite frankly, all too often it's a little disappointing and to be honest, I don't eat enough bread to justify making a whole loaf- and when I do eat it, it's normally in the morning or at lunchtime, and unless you're wildly organised, it's fairly tricky to get bread ready for those times.

However. Soda bread is a bit different. No kneading, no proving, no waiting around. Just mix, oven, bake, eat. Easy peasy, and even I can do it.

Well. I say that, but actually when I first made this it really was underbaked. I'm blaming this entirely on the fact that I didn't realise that my watch had stopped, and therefore I had no idea what time the loaf went into the oven. It was certainly NOT my fault for not knowing what "hollow" sounds like (turns out, a bit like when you knock on a table top).

But yes. If I can make this, you can make this. And you should make this, and serve it toasted with poached eggs. I also think it would be incredible toasted and topped with cheese and chutney- but then, what bread isn't amazing when topped with cheese and chutney? It would also be perfect fresh from the oven with some lovely homemade soup- something hearty, like roasted tomato and lentil. Which is convenient, because I'll have a recipe for that coming up soon! Aren't I good to you? And in the meantime, Bess' Dad's Onion Soup would be perfect with this.

This recipe is very heavily inspired by the amazing Izy at Top With Cinnamon- as you will see as you go through. I used spelt flour purely because I couldn't get standard wholemeal flour either in my local branch of Tesco, or my local Holland & Barrett- but H&B did have spelt flour, so I decided to give it a go and found it really worked. If you wanted to substitute for wholemeal, or a mixture of wholemeal and spelt, then I'm sure that would work just fine too. I wouldn't recommend plain- for some reason, soda breads always seem to be made with something a bit more interesting that just plain flour.

Oh. And don't try to use baking powder instead of bicarbonate of soda? The clue is in the name. SODA bread. Bicarbonate of SODA. Easy.

Seedy Pecan and Walnut Spelt Soda Bread
Inspired by this recipe

500g spelt flour
2 heaped tsp bicarbonate of soda
A handful of pecans
A handful of walnuts
Half a mugful of mixed seeds
250ml milk (I used skimmed)
A 200g pot of low fat greek style natural yoghurt 
(I'm sure you could use any natural yoghurt, this is just literally what I used)

A baking tray, two bowls, an oven

Preheat your oven to 200C

Mix together your flour and bicarbonate of soda. Break your nuts into rough pieces (by hand, or use a knife if you really want) and add them to the bowl along with your seeds. In a separate bowl, mix together your yoghurt and milk, then add this to the flour. Combine to form a dough.

Turn out onto a floured work surface and using your hands, shape it into a ball-type shape.  Using a sharp knife, cut a cross on the top then place onto a lightly floured baking tray. Bake for 40 minutes-ish, or until it is a lovely deep brown, and sounds hollow when you tap the bottom of it.

Delicious ripped apart fresh from the oven, or toasted with eggs, cheese, jam, peanut butter (maybe not all at the same time though....

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