)This month I thought it would be easy peasy. Quick bread without yeast, rising or kneading. Our super-talented babe Ilva ("Lucullian delights") choose to bake a soda bread, so she could manage to bake for this month even with her busy schedule. I have baked soda bread before (like the one for the mellow baker challenge) and somehow I just can't find myself becoming a fan. This time the bread looked good, was moist and full of lovely herbs... but (yeah there is the ''but") it just had an offensive smell. We ate a few slices (with our noses pinched) and the taste was not too bad. But that smell, just awful, even worse the day after baking, so I binned the rest.
We tried to think of answers why... as I'm the only one so far that has this problem... but not really sure. It may be the baking soda that tastes/smells/reacts different from one brand to another. Although I never have smelled/tasted anything peculiar when used in baked goods like cakes ecc. Maybe I'll give it another go when I can find a different brand baking soda.
Don't let it put you off becoming a Bread Baking Buddy, as I'm the only one that screwed up. Have a look at the soda breads from the other Babes (links in the side bar) to see how it's really done. Bake, post and send it to Ilva so she can make a Bread Baking Buddy Round-up! (Deadline June 29).
White Soda Bread with Herbs
450 g plain white four
1 level tsp salt
1 level tsp bread soda, finely sieved
1 dessert spoon each of rosemary, sage and chives, all freshly chopped
400 ml buttermilk
Heat up the oven to 230ºC/450ºF
Sieve the flour, salt and bread soda into a large, wide mixing bowl. Add the freshly chopped herbs to the dry ingredients.
Make a well in the centre. Pour most of the milk into the flour. Using one hand with the fingers open and stiff, mix in a full circle drawing in the flour from the sides of the bowl, adding more milk if necessary. The dough should be softish, not too wet and sticky.
The trick with all soda breads is not to over-mix the dough. Mix the dough as quickly and as gently as possible, keeping it really light and airy. When the dough comes together, turn it out onto a well-floured work surface. Wash and dry your hands.
Gently roll the ball of dough around with floury hands for a few seconds, just enough to tidy up. Then pat it gently into a round, about 5 cm/2 in high.
Place the dough on a lightly floured baking sheet. With a sharp knife cut a deep cross in the middle of it, letting the cuts go over the sides of the bread. Then prick the four triangles with your knife: according to Irish folklore this will let the fairies out!
Put this into your preheated oven for 10 minutes, then turn the heat down to 200ºC/400ºF for a further 25 minutes, or until cooked. When the bread is cooked it will sound hollow when tapped.
(from The Ballymaloe Bread Book by Tim Allen)