I’ve been playing around with soda bread for a while now. I found getting a buttermilk substitute right a bit tricky – just adding lemon juice or cider to my Koko or Rice Dream didn’t seem to do the trick. It was just too thin to be a good substitute. The answer was to reduce the amount of milk and whisk in some plain yoghurt. The yoghurt milk mix then has the souring agent added and voila! A good substitute.
Soda bread is a great, easy bread to make and is wonderful with stews, soups or any meal you can think of. It’s best on the day of baking but we eat it the next day happily and then start using it for toast. This one is a sweet sourdough with raisins and dried cranberries. I think the tartness of the cranberries are a really nice counterbalance to the sweet raisins.
Preheat oven to 200, 425F
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
400 g self raising flour
100 g strong bread flour
300 ml non dairy milk (I use KoKo)
100 ml plain Coco Yoghurt (any non dairy yoghurt will do)
1tbs caster sugar
40 g raisins
40 g dried cranberries – I chopped mine in two
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
First make the buttermilk substitute. Measure 100 ml of plain yoghurt into a measuring jug; add in 300ml of milk and whisk together. Add in the cider vinegar and leave to one side.
Sift the flours, caster sugar, salt and baking soda together.
Mix in the dried fruit
Make a well in the middle and pour in about half of the milk mixture. With your hands scoop the flour from the side of the bowl into the middle to start to mix the dough together. Slowly add the rest of the milk and combine until you’ve a sticky dough.
Tip the dough out onto a floured surface and knead it gently for a minute or so. It’s not a hard knead like with a yeast bread. It’s gentle and done just to take the stickiness out. I sprinkle a bit of flour on top as well.
Form the dough into a circle and cut a cross in the top to help get the air into the dough. It’s intended to be quite a deep cut but I tend to keep it a bit shallower as a preference.
Make in the middle of the oven for 35-40 minutes or until it sounds hollow when you tap the bottom. The sound is quite distinctive so if you aren’t sure – put it back in for 3-4 minutes and try again.
Cool on a wire rack and enjoy! Molly loves this bread as a school snack as it's got a bit of sweetness and is quite filling.
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