First Timers - Seed & Dill Soda Bread

If you follow me on Facebook, you’ll have seen that this has been my summer of love – and baking, which means that I’ve taught pretty much everyone I’ve met how to make bread. Without exception, they all managed to turn out a tasty soft loaf and they were all amazed at how easy it was.

But soda bread has never held much appeal for me.  In my experience, it’s usually a bit too hard, dry and with too much of a bias towards the rustic than I like. Until  that is, I ended up with a carton of buttermilk which needed using and a few late courgettes. So I tried out a brilliant recipe for Courgette and cheddar soda bread on the BBC Good Food website. It was fantastic, andridiculously easy, so I immediately had to do some experimenting.

This is yesterdays effort, made with what I had in the fridge, namely fresh dill, and a jar of mixed seeds, including Nigella, poppy and sesame. It took literally five minutes to make, 30 mins to rest while the oven heated up, and 30 minutes to cook. And it was delicious lightly toasted with a simple, tomato soup for lunch.

  • 100g plain wholemeal flour
  • 350g plain flour
  • 1 tsp table salt
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 420ml buttermilk
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh dill
  • 4 tsp mixed seeds

Mix the flours, salt and bicarbonate of soda together in a big bowl. Make a well in the centre and pour in the buttermilk and mix well with a palette or flat bladed knife (so you don’t get your hands covered in very sticky dough)

When it’s pretty much combined but ragged around the edges, lightly flouryour work surface and tip the dough on top.

Gently move the dough around and bring it together into a smooth ball but don’t knead it, because it will make it too tough. Flatten the ball softly so it is a large disc

Put the dough onto a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper and score a deep cross all the way across,, without actually cutting it into quarters. Open them out slightly

Set aside for 30 minutes while you preheat your oven to 200 degrees (180 fan)

Bake for 30 minutes until the bread is goldnen brown and sounds hollow when you tape the bottom. It might need 5-10 minutes longer depending on your oven. Cool on a wire rack.

This is great eaten either warm from the oven, or toasted. It will keep for a day or so.

Do give it a try – and if you have any courgettes and cheese lying around, then click on this link and try the more sophisticated version…