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    Monday, April 20, 2009

    Rachel Allen's White Soda Cheesy Bread

    I watched Rachel Allen make Soda Bread, an Irish favourite, this morning and thought it could be a quick alternative to a yeast bread for lunch.
    It’s really like a scone, (USA Biscuit) but uses Buttermilk instead of Butter and milk.
    About 5-10 minutes to prepare and approx 20 minutes to cook…not bad.

    It made a lovely light bread.
    Delicious when warm.
    I was going to make a salad for lunch, but it was raining and a bit miserable so I accompanied the bread with a quick Mushroom Soup.
    Now a couple of hints, I found it needed more buttermilk than the recipe allowed.
    Maybe it’s the weather, as I found I needed to add extra iced water to a sweet short pastry I made today as well.
    So you need to judge the amount on the day.

    3 tbsp Olive oil
    450g plain flour
    1 very level teaspoon Bicarbonate of soda (Baking Soda)
    1 teaspoon Salt
    125g Cheddar cheese
    400ml Buttermilk

    Preheat the oven to 220C/gas 7.
    Brush a baking tray generously with olive oil.

    Sieve the plain flour and the bicarbonate of soda into a big bowl,
    Add the salt, 50g of the cheese and mix together with your hands.

    Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in most of the buttermilk.
    Spread the fingers of one hand out like a claw and together in a full circle.
    Add enough of the remaining buttermilk to make a soft dough.
    Do not knead the mix, but work it very gently to bring together.

    Place the dough onto a floured surface and roll out to about 35 x 20cm.
    Transfer the rolled dough to an oiled baking tray,
    Brush the top with some more oil and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
    Bake for 18-25 minutes, turning the oven down to 200C after 10 minutes.
    When cooked the bread should be a golden brown colour and feel firm in the centre.
    Transfer it to a wire rack and cool for a couple of minutes, then cut it into squares and serve.

    It’s a good crumb light and kept well.

    Made wonderful toast the next day.
    Just spread butter onto the hot toast.
    Wonderful cheesy.

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