the throw-it-all-in (easy) Bread

chia-seed-covered bread

nettle top up close
bread slicesI am a sourdough bread baker through and through, a virulent wild-fermentator, and an occupational cook—as inspired from the tenets of occupational therapy, what would be referred elsewhere as a slow-food enthusiast but could sometimes be called, in my case, a long-winded cook : extensive recipe research, multiple tasks, exponential picking/preparing/rolling/marinating time, repetitive gestures. However, there is a quick bread that I sometimes cook here, a fall-back plan generally the night before school when the usual loaf lends itself to toasting rather than sandwiching.
The initial recipe came from one of my favourite bread books, Dan Leppard’s The Handmade Loaf (see ‘Waterford Soda Bread’ on page 69), I have dropped a few ingredients (the fat, the sugar) substituted or added others. You could call it a soda bread but it would be more accurate to call it a kefir bread as that is actually the main ingredient in weight. I could call it a kitchen sink bread as I have over-the-years thrown in all kinds of leftovers in.


oven to 200 degree celsius/400 degree farenheit/gas mark 4

oil and flour/dust with flakes a 17 or 18 cm square cake tin

weigh 300 g of flour (I tend to use organic spelt mostly wholemeal, experiment)

sift with 1 tsp soda + 1/2 tsp sea salt

mix in if you’d like about 70g of flakes and/or about 50g of raisins (the children insist) and/or about 20g of goji berries and/or about 50g of linseed and/or about 50g of chia seeds and/or a cup of leftover rice/quinoa/millet and/or 1/2 cup of oat groats left to soak with boiling water for a couple of days on the counter top (a favourite) and/or about 50g of pumpkin or sunflower seeds and or shredded nettle tops ?????

pour in 400g of kefir (or butter/sour milk) [ the initial recipe called for half buttermilk and half whole milk] wet all ingredients but do not over mix, pour into tin, flatten roughly, sprinkle with whatever flakes or seeds you fancy (chia seeds a current favourite), cover with tin foil, bake for 25 minutes, remove tin foil and bake for another 25 minutes.

Unlike soda breads this (thanks presumably to the presence of kefir) keeps well for over a week, is delicious as a sandwich bread (use soft butter when it is very fresh) and toasts delightfully after a few days, what more can you ask for ?

If you make this adding another interesting ingredient, do pleeeeeze let me know.


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