Bread making has long been a tradition in our family. My grandmother and great aunt made the most scrumptious bread when we would visit. They always had one in the parlour ready for our hungry tummies. I may have been a wee one but I had a superb appetite for polishing off half a loaf of soda bread. We always had my mum’s amazing homemade loaf to come home to every day after school. Always different and served with a steaming hot bowl of homemade soup. Best mum in town
So it was inevitable that my mum taught me how to make bread when I used to live at home but she told me there was no real method that she followed and just like my dad says, not one loaf of my mum’s bread is the same as the next. Watching mum make bread, I did pick up on the gist of how she makes her bread. She doesn’t follow a recipe but throws in a handful of this and a spoon of that. So now, when I make bread that is just what I do although I do have to take note of weighing the ingredients if I want to share it. I made this bread last week and it sparked a lot of interest from some of my fellow grain loving tweeps and followers on instagram.
This morning after shaking off the brain fog and getting myself in gear, I set out to remake the bread from last week. With an extra couple ingredients, it turned out gorgeous and was rightfully gobbled up for brunch.
Spelt is often referred to as an ancient grain as it was a staple in medieval times but nowadays it is becoming more popular amongst those who are growing an intolerance to wheat or just want a diet lower in wheat for health reasons. Spelt is a hexaploid species of wheat, meaning it is closely related to the wheat grain and I just like saying that word. Although related to wheat, Spelt has a notably different taste and colour. It is lower in gluten but higher in protein, huzzah!
Quinoa originating in South America is known as a superfood by many of it’s fans. Being a chenopod, which are shrubs/small trees, the Quinoa plant is closely related to beets and spinach. I first became introduced to it when my mum started adding it to soups and stews. It is the perfect, chewy addition or on it’s own as a side dish but last week I threw a handful of it in to the bread and it was yumbo jumbo. When you cut into the bread you can see all the Quinoa speckled throughout, a nice touch.
I hope you enjoy this lovely wholemeal soda bread just as much as we did. It has barely survived after brunch this afternoon. The smell of soda bread baking in the oven always reminds me of home. Which is a nice feeling when I am a little homesick.
400 g Wholemeal Spelt Flour
100g White Spelt Flour
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
450ml Buttermilk (room temp)
1 teaspoon salt
1 large glug of olive oil
1 generous handful of uncooked quinoa (30g)
50g wholegrain rolled spelt
1 tablespoon of ground linseed
Preheat oven to 180°C
Sieve the flour and bicarb into a bowl
Aerate the flours a bit more by running it through your fingers
Pour in the olive oil and mix
Sprinkle in the sea salt, linseed, quinoa and rolled spelt
Gradually pour in the buttermilk and mix through, as you are not pouring in the milk all at once, it allows you to judge when the dough is ready. I like a soft, moist dough but if you have a preference, give or take a couple of drops of buttermilk
Knead in the bowl for a couple of minutes and then gather up into a ball.
Flour a baking tray and place the bread on it.
Get a knife and dip in flour, then drag a cross into the top of the bread, prick the four corners of the bread to ‘let out the fairies’. You don’t want them ruining your lovely loaf
Place the bread in the oven and bake for 45 minutes.
When it is done, it should have a hollow sound when you tap the base. Place on a wire rack and cool.
Lather with butter and devour!