It was our recent trip to Roganic that inspired me to take a little baby step into the world of bread making. We were served the most delicious brown soda rolls while we were there (see below, second from front), dense and sweet.
|The Roganic bread basket|
225g wholemeal flour
225g plain flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
(*Instead of buttermilk I used normal skimmed milk with a hefty squirt of lemon juice. Set this aside for about ten minutes before using.)
Serves 12, 4 pro points per serving
Preheat the oven to 220.
Sift together the flours, salt and bicarbonate of soda in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre.
In another bowl, whisk the egg into the buttermilk. Pour most of the liquid (I went for about two thirds) into the flour mixture. Using your hands with your fingers outstretched like a claw OR the dough hook of a beloved food mixer, bring the flour and liquid together, adding more liquid as necessary (I didn’t use the full 400ml in the end). The dough should be quite soft, but not too sticky.
Turn onto a floured work surface and gently bring it together into a round about 4cm deep. Or, as per the picture above, something vaguely approximating a puddle shape. Cut a deep cross on the top (this is to let the fairies out!)
Place on a lightly oiled baking tray and bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, then turn the heat down to 200 and bake for a further 30 minutes.
The loaf is cooked when it sounds slightly hollow when tapped on the base. Although to be honest I spent quite a long time knocking it wondering exactly how that sounds. Maybe a seasoned bread baker would have less difficulty. In any case, the timings provided seemed to work well.
This is best eaten on the day it is baked, preferably still warm from the oven and oozing with butter. However, we stored the loaf under a tea towel and ate some the following evening and it was still fine for dunking in soup.