I think I have a problem…..
I’m addicted to soda bread.
A few weeks ago I was very unaware of this delicious, soda-ry greatness and it was nothing more than a new recipe that I placed on my “to make” list. And then I made this easy, no fuss, no knead (and no yeast!) bread and I became hooked. Instantly.
And for someone who’s baking skills need a little refining (read: I’m a baking rookie) soda bread keeps my kitchen-induced stress levels low. It’s foolproof and has none of those intricate (stressful) aspects of cooking regular, yeast-leavened bread.
And, when I stand at the kitchen counter toasting slice after slice of the stuff, then slathering it with butter before shoving it into my mouth like there is no tomorrow… it really satisfies my stomach too.
And with the rye flour this bread has an earthy, rustic taste and feeling to it whilst the cardamon just gives it that little subtle kick of flavour. Yum!
Soda Bread I love you!❤️
And since I have been eating so much of just regular, plain soda bread, my addiction is now begging for new flavours, new textures, new everything. The ideas for every variation of soda bread that are swimming around in my head right now are just…. well it’s enough to keep any soda bread fanatic hungry all day long.
So, for my first little concoction we have today’s recipe: Cardamon and Rye. I recently rediscovered my love of the spice last week when I baked these Orange, Ginger and Cardamon Cookies (evidence that my baking abilities are improving, albeit slowly) and I so wanted to use it again in a recipe.
The pouch of ground cardamon has been sitting on the kitchen counter begging to be used.
In Sweden, cardamon is used often in bakery products and making a traditional Swedish Cardamon Bread – or other baked goods – felt like a decent idea (if anyone has a link to some great Swedish recipes, please share!!!)
But, after seeing this Rye and Stout Soda Bread recipe (from the ever amazing Half Baked Harvest) I knew the Swedish recipe would have to wait. Rye flour Soda Bread… Genius! Mixed with cardamon this would make the perfect little flavour relationship.
It certainly did.
Here’s a tip for all of you that want to go and make this bread right now:
When making soda bread, make sure you add the soda.
It seems pretty logical advice, right? If you are making soda bread, one would expect soda inside, just like when someone is making apple pie, you expect them to use apples.
Well, even though this seems like the most pointless, and trivial, piece of soda bread making advice I will admit to you – as much as it pains me – that on my first test loaf for this recipe, I failed to follow my own pointless and trivial advice.
Yes, I forgot to place the soda inside my soda bread.
Turns out, the baking soda plays a fairly important leavening role in the baking of soda bread and after 45 minutes of baking – the exact time I was a) going to take the bread out of the oven and b) the time I realised I had forgot to put baking soda into the dough – the bread had not risen and sat short, squat and doughy on the baking pan.
It was almost like I had baked a huge lump of Playdough. Part of me wanted to try and taste it to see if I had the quantities of cardamon and molasses right but the logical – and sensible – side of me refused. It quickly found its way into the trash.
So, as we are passing through an unusually late burst of heat here in Australia during what should be the general cooling down period of early autumn – I spent the day with the oven on in a hot, sweaty kitchen baking cardamon and rye soda bread several times, just to make sure everything was right.
And making sure I remembered to put in the baking soda.
And here is the result. Ok, so my bread’s “X” on top has bust open a little and it hasn’t quite kept its boule shape I had started out with but who wants a perfectly shaped loaf of bread anyway. A “rustic” look is so much better, right?
Because, let’s be honest with ourselves for a second – we don’t bake bread to stand and stare at it, do we? No, we bake it so we can stand at the kitchen counter, slicing slice after slice, toasting it before slapping on that butter and shoving into mouth.
That is why we bake bread. This is why bread is so great.
And when bread making is as quick, easy and foolproof (as long as your remember the baking soda, duh!)as Soda bread is, then it becomes so much more enjoyable.
And this, my wonderful foodie friends, is why I have a soda bread addiction.
And to keep my addiction satisfied: If you are a seasoned soda bread baker, and have some great recipes, please point me in the direction.
Cardamon and Rye Soda Bread
Prep Time: 10 mins || Cook Time: 45 mins || Makes: 1 Loaf
Rate this recipe:
- 300g Rye Flour
- 300g All purpose plain flour or whole wheat flour
- 1/2 Tsp salt
- 2 tsp Baking Soda
- 2 tsp ground cardamon
- 500ml Buttermilk
- 50g butter, melted
- 60ml Molasses
- Preheat your oven to 180°C / 350°F
- In a bowl, stir together the flours, salt, baking soda and cardamon.
- In another bowl whisk together the buttermilk, butter and molasses until well combined an pour into the flour mixture. Stir until a dough is formed that is slightly sticky but doesn’t stick to your fingers. Add a little flour or water as necessary to create the right consistency.
- Form the dough into a ball and score a cross across the top with a knife.
- Place on a baking sheet and into the oven for 35- 45 minutes of until slightly browned on top and it sounds hollow when tapped. Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool.
- Allow to cool for at least 40 minutes before slicing and serving.