Perfect Wholewheat Soda Bread can be on the table in less than an hour. Ireland’s most famous bread uses two of the oldest foods, wheat, and buttermilk. The acid in the buttermilk reacts with the bicarbonate of soda and creates the rise, which means that you don’t need yeast. If you have kids, do teach them how to make soda bread, because it’s great to be able to put a loaf on the table within 45 minutes. Once you’ve mastered it, try adding some grated Wexford cheese (Vintage Irish Cheddar) and raw onion finely chopped to the dough. Serve Wholewheat Soda Bread with Homemade baked beans.
Soda bread is best eaten fresh with lashing of Irish butter because it does not have any preservatives in the recipe. Serve the Wholewheat Soda Bread with Cheese and onion with a plowman’s lunch with ham.
There’s no excuse not to have a Cracking Soda Bread recipe
Elizabeth David once wrote that “everyone who cooks, in however limited a way, should know how to make a loaf of soda bread” – and, as with so much else in life, she’s right. Even if you live next door to the world’s best artisan bakery, there is no denying the satisfaction of a loaf that can be in the oven in less time than it takes to brew a pot of tea. More importantly, it is ready to eat by the time you get out of the shower.
Ireland remains the heartland of soda bread today. Filling and wholesome, it pops up at almost every meal and is so universal that the more common wholemeal version is known simply as brown or wheaten bread. It goes with everything from salty yellow butter to soup, smoked salmon to soft cheese, and creates very little in the way of washing-up. Seriously, can you afford not to have a recipe for soda bread in your life?
Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6 and grease a baking sheet.
Once the oven has come to temperature, put all the dry ingredient into a large mixing bowl and whisk together to combine. Make a well in the middle. Stir the treacle and honey into the buttermilk until well mixed, then pour this into the well and, very quickly, stir together with your hands until you have a soft, sticky dough.
Form this into a round on your baking sheet and cut a deep cross in the dough. Bake for 50 minutes to an hour, keeping an eye on it, until the crust is golden and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped underneath.
Brush with melted butter and leave to cool before tearing into it. Eat as soon as possible, as it doesn't keep very well.
Homemade baked beans with smoked bacon. www.meatrecipes.com
There is nothing like the warm comforting flavor of a rich tomato sauce in homemade baked beans with smoked bacon for breakfast on a cold and frosty January morning. The beans keep well and improve with flavor so you can make them on Saturday afternoon to serve with Sunday morning brunch.
Ring the Changes
I tend to make a large batch and freeze the rest. Just make the beans and the sauce and add the bacon later. If you don’t fancy bacon you can use sausage or salami or black pudding or a mixture of all of them to ring in the changes. Serve it with homemade soda bread toast and top it with a fried or poached egg for added flavor.
Canned baked beans are pretty much a staple in the UK. Most households have at least a couple of cans in the cupboard. Once you have tasted homemade baked beans you can be sure that the canned variety will be finally be consigned to the back of the cupboards.
It’s a versatile breakfast because you can at a pinch use canned haricot beans. Also, it’s a great vegetarian or vegan recipe if you want to leave out the meat.
You can adopt this recipe to using a slow cooker. Make everything overnight and then enjoy the fragrance of a home cook healthy breakfast as soon as you wake up in the morning.
To begin with, cover the white beans in cold water and soak overnight. Meanwhile, make the soda bread. Preheat the oven to 200C/gas mark 6. Put both flours, the butter, bicarbonate of soda, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Stir in the buttermilk and use your hands to mix all the ingredients together until soft dough forms. Transfer the dough to a greased baking sheet, pat into a loaf and dust with a little extra flour. Put the baking sheet in the oven and bake the bread for 45-50 minutes until it is wonderfully golden. Transfer the loaf to a wire rack and leave to cool completely.
After the beans have soaked overnight, drain them and put them in a large saucepan. Cover them with water and bring to the boil. Drain the beans again and return to the pan. Cover with fresh water and return to the boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for about 1 hour until the beans are just tender.
Top up with extra boiling water, if needed. Drain the beans and set aside.
Heat the rapeseed oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the bacon and fry, stirring, for about 5 minutes until it is crispy and the lovely bacon fat and flavour is in the pan. Add the onion and garlic to the pan and continue stirring for 3-5 minutes until the onion is softened.
Add the tinned tomatoes, tomato purée, sugar, vinegar and water and bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Add the beans, reduce the heat to very low and simmer, uncovered, for 1½-2 hours until the sauce is thick and the beans are soft. Season.