When the FC and I returned from Europe Saturday night, I decided to get
all-homey and bake some bread. (We had none in the freezer and after traveling
for more then two weeks I didn’t want to leave the house, not even for a trip to
the bakery. I also wanted to test drive my new apron. (The FC bought me an
adorable one for Christmas, which was a total surprise. Though I had dropped a
hint in the blog a few months ago, I never thought he’d take note. So now I’d
like to mention how much I’d like an orange Rachel Ray casserole, a basting
brush, and some colourful Ikea oven mits…  After all, Valentine’s Day is just
around the corner!)


Simple Soda Bread


Basic soda bread recipe adapted from Jane Brody’s “Good Food Gourmet”

Something about baking a loaf of bread makes you feel like you’re a magician,
like you’ve really made something substantial, and from nothing, just water and


Until now, I’ve always been afraid of baking bread, but this simple low fat
soda bread has changed my mind forever.  Who needs yeast when there’s baking
soda and powder?  This is actually the first time I’ve ever made the recipe and
I’m so damm proud of myself. Despite the simplicity, this isn’t a cake-y
breakfast bread that gets wolfed down in a day, this loaf of bread sticks
around. It’s sustenance. It also goes with anything; cheese, pate, butter or jam
— spread it on! Even better, with this basic recipe you can pretty much design your own bread.
I added  1/4 cup of oatmeal,  1/4 cup of sesame seeds, 1/4 cup of sugar and
two teaspoons of cinnamon to mine, but the options are endless. You can add
chopped dried fruit, sunflower seeds or wheat germ; you can do half white
flour-half whole wheat, you can make it sweet or savoury — whatever your
culinary heart desires. No gizmos required either, just a baking sheet for the
bread (though I wouldn’t have minded a brush for glazing the crust with butter
at the end.)




2 cups whole wheat flour (I used all white flour because I was out of whole
wheat, and it was great)=
1 cup all purpose flour
optional ingredients ( I added 1/4 cup of oatmeal,  2 teaspoons cinnamon,
1/4 brown sugar and 1/4 sesame seeds)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups buttermilk (or more if you use the extra “optional” ingredients)
1 tablespoon butter or margarine, melted




1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.


2. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and
salt.  Add in your “extras” like 1/4 cup of oatmeal,  sesame seeds, brown
sugar,  2 teaspoons of cinnamon, or whatever you have on hand and that seems


3. Stir in the buttermilk, mixing the ingredients until the dry ingredients are
just moistened.


4.  Turn dough onto a floured board and knead dough for 2 minutes or until
dough is  (relatively) smooth. Then shape into a ball.


5. Place the dough on a greased baking sheet (I put mine on a buttered
parchement paper) and flatten into a 7 inch round, about 1 1/2 inches thick.
What a floured knife, cut a 1/2 inch X across the top of the loaf. (It may not
look pretty when the dough is rough, but trust me, it resolves well in the


6. Place the baking sheet in the hot oven and bake the loaf for 40 minutes or
until the loaf sounds hollow when it is tapped on the bottom. Turn the bread out
onto a rack to cool (I use the removable centre rack from on top of my stove)
and brush the loaf with melted butter or maragine (this gives the crust a nice
shine and extra flavour boost.)


Serve warm with butter, paté, jam, cheese or just plain.  So easy, so
satisfying.  What bread can I make next?

Leave a comment !