I can’t tell you how pleased I am that I decided to join in with #thegreatbloggerbakeoff, as well as being tonnes of fun, it’s introduced me to lots of lovely baking and lifestyle blogs that I didn’t previously know and given me a ready made community with which to share my bakes with every week! Most importantly though, it’s really forced me back into the kitchen and into a regular baking routine, and has given me the impetus to attempt recipes that I’ve always wanted to try but for one reason or another haven’t.
Take bread for example, I’ve always liked the idea of baking my own bread but was a bit too afraid/ lazy to actually attempt it. We made our own pizza dough once and although an almighty success, it was somewhat of a faff. All that proving and kneading and proving again just seemed to take the shine off the baking process a little for me (I like to see my results there and then), not to mention the time factor – you really need a weekend that’s completely free to be able to see it through.
As bread week approached in the GBBO tent, I was dubious as to how I’d tackle what I imagined to be a three day baking event, in one morning. But as with every week, I was pleasantly surprised at what I managed to cobble together. After remembering the lovely Rosie’s River Cottage soda bread recipe and finding that bread could indeed be made without any kneading or proving, I had soon adapted Hugh’s bake (how very dare I!) to suit my needs (and the ingredients of my kitchen cupboard) and in less than an hour had a delicious warm loaf to tuck into. So quick and easy was the process, that I even had time to make my own homemade jam to enjoy alongside it! (Do I get extra points for that?)
What you’ll need…
(recipe adapted from the River Cottage soda bread as seen on Cider with Rosie)
500g flour (you can use any type of flour but I chose Wholemeal Spelt for a slightly nutty taste)
2 tsp of bicarbonate of soda
3 heaped tablespoons of ground almonds (add more or less depending on how almond-y you want it)
200ml plain live yoghurt, 200ml almond milk
How it’s done…
1. Preheat the oven to around 200 degrees Celsius and pop your baking tray in to warm up.
2. Measure out the flour, bicarb and ground almonds in a bowl and mix together, getting rid of any lumps in the flour.
3. Use a spoon to hollow out the middle of the mixture creating a well.
4. combine your yoghurt and almond milk in a jug and mix well together.
5. Slowly add the yoghurt mixture to the flour mixture by pouring it into the well a little at a time and mixing as you go.
6. Once all of the yoghurt mixture has been added you should be able to combine the two into a sticky dough. If it feels too dry just keep adding a touch more almond milk until it reaches the right sticky bread consistency.
7. Toss the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and lightly shape into a round. (This shouldn’t need too much kneading at all so if you can just let it form it’s own shape)
8. Remove your tray from the oven and line with a sheet of baking parchment, before sliding your bread dough on top.
9. Use the handle of a wooden spoon to create cross like grooves in the bread and then toss flaked almonds on top, pressing them in to the dough slightly to ensure they stick.
10. Cook for 40 minutes (I know – only 40 mins!) until the crust is crisp and golden and then remove from the oven and leave to cool slightly.
11. Tuck in while still warm, breaking off chunks and spreading with a bit of butter, for a savoury taste, or a scrumptious homemade berry jam, if you’re a sweet tooth like me!
If you, like me, thought baking your own bread without a bread maker would be a long and laborious task, definitely give soda bread a go. It’s quicker than baking a cake and although slightly drier than your average loaf, has a delicious taste all the same.
If you give this, or any of my bakes a go, tag them with #bettybakes on Twitter or Instagram so I can see. And if you missed my other GBBO recipes, take a look at my Viennese Biscuits and Chocolate Olive Oil Cake.
You can see all of the other bread recipes by following #TheGreatBloggerBakeOff on Twitter.