Well, this one didn’t turn out quite as well as it should. But I know my mistake (impatience) and hopefully I’ve learnt from it. We wanted to make a soda bread, supposed to be the easiest bread to make, but fancied making it a little more fancy than just plain old brown bread. So, we decided to make Paul Hollywood’s stout bread (bit of a Hollywood lovefest going on in our house at the minute). Ruby was slightly concerned she may get drunk from it, but during a lengthy explanation on the evaporation of alcohol in the cooking process, she decided she wasn’t that bothered.
We assembled our ingredients and after three additional trips to the shops, still managed to have the wrong flour. But we did remember the stout and buttermilk, which in my mind are the most important bits.
550g/1lb 4oz wholemeal flour (I used half coarse wholemeal and half strong wholemeal due to a shopping list malfunction. Not sure if it really worked)
200g/7oz plain flour
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp dark brown sugar
300ml/½ pint stout (us being Dubliners it has to be Guinness)
220ml/8fl oz buttermilk
Pre-heat the oven to 230c/450f. Get a 1kg/2lb loaf tin ready (mine is non-stick, but may need a little oiling).
Mix the flours, bicarbonate of soda, salt and sugar in a bowl. Pour in the buttermilk and stout. Mix it all up with a spoon. Turn out the dough onto a floured surface and fold rather than knead so that it all comes together smoothly. Roll up into a sausage about the length of the loaf tin.
Place the sausage into the loaf tin and smooth into the corners with wet hands (I didn’t do this. Probably should). Let it rest for 10-30 minutes.
Place in the middle of the oven and bake for 10 minutes, then turn the oven down to 180c/350f and bake for a further 25 minutes. Leave to cool completely on a cooling rack.
We took ours out, knocked the base which sounded hollow-ish, but when we cut into it the middle was not cooked through. Pity, because the flavour was incredible. So much more intense than plain old brown bread. Note to selves: hollow-ish is not hollow. Oh and the other best bit?