Garlic, Onion & Thyme Soda Bread w/ Rosemary Olive Oil Goat Cheese Spread

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I realized that I haven’t made any bread yet, which is unlike me because I love bread. I love eating it, I love dipping it, but more than anything, I love making it. There’s something very loving and ritualistic about baking bread that amuses me.

I’m aware that most people don’t actually want to spend half their day nurturing a blob of dough, which is why there are alternatives! Obviously, you can just buy some bloody bread and call it good, but that’s sissy talk. There’s an amazing book that I was given by someone very dear to me called, Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. It is the answer to all your bread prayers if you’re someone with little time to spare for baking. I can’t recommend this book enough. You get yeast-risen dough in half the time and only a fraction of the work. The other option is to make bread that doesn’t use yeast at all. Instead, it uses bicarbonate of soda. Also known as quick-bread, there is no wait time for this. Make it, shape it, bake it, eat it. Easy.

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The bicarbonate of soda reacts with the acid in the buttermilk and pushes the dough up and out, making it rise. If I could compare it to anything, I’d say it has more of a biscuit-like texture happening inside. A delicious, crunchy, biscuity bread. Yes.

This recipe is a page out of Paul Hollywood’s book of expertise on all things bread. I imagine if there were a bread god, he’d be it. I’ve spiced his traditional recipe up with some herbs and cheese and to be honest, there’s hardly any left. Its almost shameful consdiering I made it only an hour ago and I’m the only one home. Carpe diem.

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P. S. If your interest in bread stops here, well done, and enjoy your soda bread. If you’re looking for something more challenging, stick around for a fruity brioche bun in the near future.

 

SODA BREAD (base recipe by Paul Hollywood)

250g plain white flour

250g plain wholemeal flour

1 tsp salt

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

2 T. fresh chopped thyme

1 t. chopped garlic

1/2 of an onion, diced

About 400ml buttermilk

390Ā° F / 200Ā° C

  1. In a large bowl combine the dry ingredients.
  2. Form a well in the middle of the mixture and pour in most of the buttermilk.
  3. With your hands, combine the ingredients into a uniform dough. If the mixture feels too dry, add more buttermilk.
  4. Once combined, dump the dough out onto a floured surface and gently bring it together into a circle, pushing it down to form a large disk (about 7-inches).
  5. Place on lightly floured baking stone and score it into quarters by cutting deep into the bread, but no all the way through. Dust with flour.
  6. Bake for 30-40 minutes until it is golden brown and sounds hollow when you tap it.

 

GOAT CHEESE SPREAD:

85 g. goat cheese

2 T. cream

1 T. olive oil

1 clove garlic

1 T. grated parmesan

1/4 t. salt

1 t. fresh rosemary, chopped finely

  1. Combine all ingredients by hand, in a mixer or food processor until smooth and creamy. Optional: Place in a dish and drizzle with olive oil and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Top with a sprig of rosemary.

 

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