Soda bread is much faster and easier to make than regular bread. Bicarbonate of soda reacts with acid to quickly produce carbon dioxide, which gets trapped in the dough and makes it rise quickly. Usually, the acid would come in the form of some sort of soured dairy, such as buttermilk, yoghurt, or whey. For vegans, non-dairy milk curdled with cider vinegar work equally well.
Adding root vegetables to soda bread adds moisture and flavour. I decided to try this when I got yet another swede in my weekly vegetable delivery. I like swede but I’m seriously lacking interesting recipes for it. It can go in soup, curry, mash, and ummm…. that’s about it. One of my colleagues keeps raving about carrot and swede mash which is undoubtedly now my favourite thing to do with it, so I decided to expand on that combo and try it in bread. It was worth the gamble. It’s glorious, and particularly good dunked in some spicy soup.
Recipe (makes one loaf)
- 300ml your preferred non-dairy milk
- 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 100g each swede and carrot, grated
- 200g plain flour
- 200g wholemeal flour
- 2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon thyme leaves
Preheat the oven to 200°C. Grease a large baking sheet.
Mix the milk and vinegar together in a mug, and leave to curdle while you get the rest of the ingredients together.
Put all of the rest of the ingredients in a large bowl and mix together. Add the curdled milk and mix until it just comes together into a ball. Don’t over-mix it or knead it, you’ll knock out all of the gas that makes it rise.
Turn the dough out onto the baking sheet, and slash a cross in the top with a wet knife (this helps it rise evenly). Bake in the oven for 45 minutes, until the loaf has approximately doubled in size and is golden brown all over, including underneath. Enjoy hot or cold.