Exchange recipes of course!
One of Laura’s best friends who was at the bachelorette party on Saturday and I got chatting about favourite recipes. She sent me a link to the blog 101 Cookbooks. Originally her recipe suggestion was for black bread. However, I was looking around the website and found this recipe for a healthy, grainy, delicious looking soda bread. So, this morning I went to the store to buy all of the seeds and organic spelt flour.
Having never made bread before, I thought I should start with a soda bread. The bread was grainy, warm and had the perfect texture. My Mom’s only critique would be to add a tiny bit of honey. Luckily, Jonathan will be in Aurora on Thursday, so I can try to make this bread again – with a smidgen of honey. Even without the honey, the flavour of this bread was amazing with all of the seeds. I am very happy with my first attempt at making bread. I may even have to try out another new bread recipe from 101 Cookbooks tomorrow. All of the recipes look wonderful and have detailed, easy to follow instructions.
2 1/2 tablespoons EACH sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, and flax seeds.
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 3/4 cup / 9 oz / 250 g spelt flour
2 cups / 9 oz / 250 g unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 3/4 cup / 14 oz / 400 ml buttermilk
a bit of extra buttermilk/milk
Preheat your oven to 400F / 205C. Place a rack in the center of the oven. In a small bowl combine all the seeds and set aside.
Sift the flours, baking soda, and salt into a large mixing bowl. Stir in all but 2 tablespoons of the seeds. Make a well in the flour, pour in the buttermilk, and stir until the dough just comes together. If you need to add an extra splash of buttermilk because the dough is too dry, you can. As Hugh says, “Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead lightly for about a minute, just long enough to pull it together into a loose ball but no longer – you need to get it into the oven while the baking soda is still doing its stuff.”
Place the dough on a lightly floured baking sheet and mark it with a deep cross across the top, cutting two-thirds of the way through the loaf with a serrated knife. Brush with buttermilk and sprinkle with the remaining seeds, making sure plenty of seeds make it down into the cracks.
Bake for 35 – 40 minutes, or until the bread is golden crusted on top and bottom (you may want to move the oven rack up for the last 15 minute if you need more color on the top of the loaf). Cool on a wire rack.
Makes a single loaf.
Adapted from River Cottage everyday by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, published by Bloomsbury.
Prep time: 10 min – Cook time: 40 min