No matter what supper I am cooking, I always serve this bread in the centre of the table and I ask my guests to break the bread with me. This is a big tradition in my home, for me it symbolises the beginning of the supper, a shared and peaceful offering. It is a very simple bread to make as there is no kneading or resting involved. It’s a take on the traditional Irish soda bread – it’s wholesome and crumbly but doesn’t leave you feeling bloated like some yeast breads can. It takes 20 minutes to prepare and then it’s straight in the oven.
MAKES 1 LOAF
200g white flour, plus extra for dusting
2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
350g wholemeal flour
2 tablespoons finely chopped rosemary
1 teaspoon sea salt
250ml natural yogurt
milk and yogurt mix, for brushing
Preheat your oven to 220C/gas mark 7.
Sift the white flour and bicarbonate of soda into a large mixing bowl and stir in the wholemeal flour, half the rosemary and the sea salt. Using clean hands, mix the dry ingredients together and make a well in the centre of the bowl.
Whisk together the yogurt and milk and slowly pour into the well of the dry ingredients. Use your free hand to mix the dough lightly, spreading your fingers far apart. Make sure that there are no dry patches and that the dough is completely wet.
Pat your hands with flour and shape the dough into one round. Place on a floured baking tray. Flour a large knife and cut the shape of a cross into the
top of the dough about two-thirds of the way through.
Brush the dough with the milk and yogurt mixture using a pastry brush, this will give a lovely golden colour to the bread once baked, and sprinkle the
remaining chopped rosemary on top.
Bake for 25 minutes, then reduce the heat to 180C/gas mark 4 and bake for a further 25 minutes. To test whether the loaf is cooked, tap the bottom with your knuckles; it should sound hollow. Leave to cool on a cooling rack.
This recipe is from Clodagh’s Suppers: Suppers to celebrate the seasons by Clodagh McKenna. If you liked this recipe, why not try this Indian Fried Egg Toast from Simple Spice Vegetarian by Cyrus Todiwala