Making Soda Bread

Whew, here we are still in the middle of quarantine. While not much has changed for me, my priorities have shifted a bit. I’ve been baking a lot because some of our foods can be difficult to get a hold of. Bread was out of stock the first week of lockdown and bread is important to the Dutch. Many people have it for breakfast and lunch… To see the shelves completely empty was a shock. We live in a small flat and space is limited. I wanted to make my own bread but I don’t have a big mixer. So instead I went to my favorite recipe for soda bread.

A special sort of bread
Soda bread is a yeastless bread that rises with baking soda instead. It’s much thicker than normal bread though. This last batch reminded me of fluffy biscuits you can get at a fancy sit down restaurant in America. The wonderful thing about it is that you don’t need a mixer with a bread kneader. You can make this bread hand, which is how I make all my baked goods! The process is straightforward and simple enough for first time bakers too.

Anything goes
The one thing about homemade bread that I love the most, is that I can add whatever I want to it! This particular batch has jalapeño, Dutch cheese, and green olives. Oh boy, that bread was over super quick. My favorite base recipe is from Live Well Bake Often. It yields two nice sized loaves that are ready to eat as soon as they pop out of the oven. And let me tell you, it’s amazing with butter right on top! I do recommend spreading some olive oil on top of the loaves before they bake. It gives them a crisp and fluffy texture that is to die for.

A hearty meal
It may not be the healthiest meal but it’s a delicious one that doesn’t need too much to be good. Our grains and breads were sold out so it was a little difficult to plan particular meals. I couldn’t have rice and fish for lunch because there was no rice! Instead I had a slice or two of this bread and it was plenty. If I’m feeling particularly hungry I also fried up a couple of eggs for added protein. Nothing beats a meal that you look forward to eating!

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