Vegan soda bread

The kitchen table, as it often the case, becomes the centre point of our entire lives. It is, at various times of the day, littered with snippets of our lives. Its is scattered with bowls and dishes, laid for dinner, or strewn with an array of cycling bits and bobs. The chairs are placed at odd angles to allow the baby space to crawl underneath it and play den. It is at the table that we prepare food, write recipes, share large mugs of brewed espresso, eat and talk.
Lately when lunch time is on the horizon and we haven’t made it to the bakery, I turn to this soda bread recipe. It is hearty and sustaining, spread with hummus and topped with rocket, dipped in fresh beetroot soup or spread with lemony avocado and sprinkled with salt. It is a quick and simple answer. The joy in making soda bread is that you simply measure, stir, knead and bake. Warm, freshly baked bread on the table in an hour. It is the easiest bread to add to your weekly repertoire and you will not regret it.

Soda bread has a tangy fresh taste to it and that comes from the natural yogurt and the homemade butter milk that I use. You can buy buttermilk, but it takes five minutes to make – you simply add the juice of half a lemon (1.5 tbsp) to 200ml of milk (dairy or almond) and wait five minutes.

I made this bread using wholegrain flour but you can also make it with wholegrain spelt flour too. It is also delicious if you add a few tablespoons of seeds to the mix. This is my tried and tested recipe but feel free to tweak away.

500g wholemeal/spelt flour
1.5tsp bicarbonate of soda
150ml of live natural yogurt (you can replace this with an equal quantity of milk)
200ml of milk (dairy or almond)
1.5tbsp lemon juice

Preheat your oven to 190degrees
Pour 200ml of milk (dairy or soya) into a jug and add 1.5tbsp of lemon juice
Leave for 5 minutes until buttermilk is formed
Sift the flour and the bicarbonate of soda into a large bowl
Make a well in the centre and add in the buttermilk and the yoghurt (if using)
Stir well with a wooden spoon and bring the mixture together, forming a soft dough
Tip onto a floured surface knead for a minute or two
Place onto a floured baking tray and dust the top of the bread liberally with flour
Bake for 40 – 45 minutes
You know the bread is ready if the base of the loaf sounds hollow when you tap it


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