Whole Wheat Soda Bread

This is a great bread to make if you have never tried making bread before. There is no kneading necessary – and certainly no time waiting around for the dough to properly rise. All you need to do is mix together the dry and wet ingredients, form the dough into a ball or loaf and bake it. After an hour or so, you will be enjoying some piping hot aromatic bread, just waiting for your favorite spread to be lathered on.

You can add some raisins to the dough as a variation…which would then create a ‘spotted dog’ – a version often confused with the more traditional Irish Soda Bread.

Yield: makes one large loaf…about 1 kilogram

  • 225 grams (1 ¾- cups) finely milled whole wheat flour

  • 225 grams (1 ¾- cups) all-purpose flour

  • 50 grams (5 level tablespoons) soy flour

  • 7 grams (1/2-tablespoon) baking soda

  • 8 grams (1 ½-teaspoons) sea salt

  • 375 ml (1 ½-cups) non-dairy milk (oat, rice, soy)

  • 7 grams (1 teaspoon) apple vinegar

  • Preheat your oven to 210° C (410°F). I use the convection fan in my oven. Be sure to add about 20°C (70°F) if your oven doesn’t have a fan.
  • Oil and lightly flour an oven-proof pot which has a lid (alternatively, use a standard loaf pan or cover your loaf pan with a standard cooking pot lid or aluminum foil).
  • Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl, mix well with a spoon or fork, then sift into a clean bowl.
  • Mix together the non-dairy milk with the apple vinegar and allow this mixture to stand for about 15-20 minutes.
  • When the soured milk is ready, mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and carefully combine…resist over-mixing the dough at this point. Allow the mixture to sit for about 5 minutes to absorb all the moisture.
  • Carefully fold out the dough onto a clean and floured work surface. If the dough appears too sticky, add 1-2 spoons of flour and lightly mix.
  • Fold the dough like a book from all four ends, then turn over and form into a smooth ball. Form the ball into a log shape about the size of your loaf pan if that is what you are using, otherwise keep a nice round shape.
  • Place the dough into the prepared pot or loaf pan.
  • With a sharp knife, cut an ‘x’ deeply in the dough, which will help it spread into four quarters after baking (Just make 5 even slices across the dough if you are using a loaf pan).
  • Cover the pot, place into the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the pot lid and return the bread to the oven and continue to bake for another 10-15 minutes uncovered. The finished bread should be lightly browned and feel crisp and firm to the touch with a light hollow sound when tapping the bottom.
  • Once the bread is baked, remove it from the pot or pan and place it on a rack to cool. Allow the bread to cool for about 30 minutes before attacking it.

Jack’s Fresh Tip

The whole-wheat flour should be finely milled, which will help with the fluffiness of the bread. Check your flour – if it’s grainy to the touch, then it has large pieces of the bran and this will create a dense bread. You can pop the flour in a high-speed blender or food processor and blend at high speed for 3 minutes. This will help create a finer textured flour.

Soy flour helps in the crunchiness and color of the bread. It’s worth looking for (make sure to get a higher fat version), but if you can’t find it – don’t sweat it. Make up the difference in amount by adding more all-purpose flour.

It is very important to get the baking soda, vinegar and non-dairy milk measurements accurate. Too much baking soda or vinegar (also too little) will create a soapy taste in the bread.

Be sure to sift the flours well to distribute the baking soda, flour and salt evenly. Non-distributed flour will cause the baking soda to work inefficiently with the vinegar and create…you guessed it…a soapy taste.

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