The Simple Pleasure of Homemade Bread
Bread, freshly baked, straight from the oven has to be one of life’s top pleasures. I love kneading fresh dough, the slow process of its rise and the simplicity of baking my own bread. Sometimes, however, I want a fresh loaf in a hurry and that where soda bread comes in!
There is no need to knead and no waiting for hours for the yeast to do its thing when making soda bread. I am physically incapable of eating soup without a hunk of bread to dunk in it and soda bread can be ready in 40 minutes from flour bag to table – perfect when a soupy mood comes upon me!
Herbed bread is just divine and I urge you to add some seasonal herbs to your mix – here I’ve used parsley, thyme and chives but you can use your favourite flavour combination or whatever you have to hand.
Herbs and Spices for Bread Making
I paired my soda bread with a really tasty lettuce soup for a lovely late summer treat but do try different herbs, seeds and spices in your bread to complement your soup!
- Caraway seeds and chilli flakes with Beetroot Soup
- Parsley and chopped garlic with Butternut Squash and Red Lentil Soup
- Celery seeds and mustard powder with Celeriac Soup
- Paprika and fresh thyme with Vegan Cream of Mushroom Soup
How to Make Soda Bread
I attended a master class with Irish chef Rachel Allen a few years ago and made a soda version of Rosemary Focaccia Bread. Rachel gave me three top tips for making the best Irish soda bread I ever did taste!
- Mix your soda bread by hand, with your hand, not a spoon!
- Hold your hand like a claw, keeping it stiff, and to mix the dough as if you are a food mixer going backwards and forwards rather than stirring and gathering.
- Don’t add to much flour, throw your dough into the oven as sticky as can be for a lighter, less dense loaf.
How to Make Vegan Soda Bread
Traditional Irish soda bread uses the reaction between bicarbonate of soda and buttermilk or soured milk to get the rise you would normally get with a yeasted bread. Vegan soda bread uses a combination of plant based milk and vegan yoghurt with bicarb or baking powder to achieve the same result.
Look at that texture and rise – fabulous! The smell of this baking with all its doughy goodness along with the deliciousness of thyme, parsley and chives is good enough to draw even the sleepiest of teenagers out of bed!
My eldest is now 23 and is heading off to work in Japan at the beginning of August for at least a year and probably two. You can imagine what an effect this is having on my heart!
He spent 5 months studying in Tokyo as part of his degree and one of the things he missed when he was there was homemade bread so this recipe is for him, a simple soda bread which needs no yeast, no kneading and is ready to eat in 40 minutes.
Simple Soda Bread with Herbs
Looking for More Bread Recipes? Try My:
Looking for More Vegan Soup Recipes? Try My:
- Butternut Squash and Red Lentil Soup with Chilli and Coconut
- Beetroot Soup
- Celeriac Soup with Apple
- Vegan Cream of Mushroom Soup
- Easy Vegan Minestrone
- Roasted Courgette Soup
Vegan Soda Bread with Seasonal Herbs
- 200 g wholemeal flour
- 250 g plain white flour
- 1 heaped tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup fresh herbs, finely chopped (I used parsley, thyme and chives)
- ½ cup sunflower seeds
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 300 mls soya milk
- 100 mls soya yoghurt
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Preheat oven to 220C/428F
- Mix together the flours, bicarbonate of soda and salt in a large bowl
- Add the finely chopped herbs, black pepper and sunflower seeds and stir to combine
- Whisk together the milk and yoghurt
- Make a well in the middle of your flour mixture and pour in the milk and yoghurt mixture
- Mix together with your hands until you have a rough dough
- Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and mould into two round loves
- Place your loaves onto a lightly oiled baking tray and slash a deep cross through them
- Brush lightly with a little olive oil and place in the preheated oven for 20 - 30 minutes until risen and brown - check its bottom, it too should be nice and golden!