Parmesan, sundried tomato and basil soda bread

This week was bread week over on the Great British Bake Off. The contestants were challenged to make a no prove bread, baguettes and a 3D bread sculpture. Of course I was going to attempt the latter* but I ran out of time, so I opted for a (no prove) soda bread. I decided to go for an Italian theme as it has to be my favourite food. I just love all the vibrant colours and delicious flavours and I wanted that to come across in my bread this week.

*blatent lie

Parmesan, sundried tomato and basil soda bread

parmasan, sun dried tomato and basil soda bread

 

Ingredients

  • 400ml Milk (preferably whole milk, but semi skimmed is fine. Skimmed milk tends to be too watery)
  • 1.5tbsp lemon juice
  • 450g plain flour
  • 1tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1tsp salt
  • 75g parmasan, finely grated
  • 75g of sundried tomatoes, dried well and roughly chopped
  • bunch of fresh basil, finely chopped, or 1 packet of Gourmet Herbs Lightly Dried Basil – I used this and it was amazing!

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees/180 degrees fan.
  2. I tend to use milk and lemon juice instead of buttermilk as I always have it in, you can substitute it for 400ml of buttermilk if you like. Mix the lemon juice and milk together and put to one side for 5 minutes.
  3. Sieve your flour, bicarb and salt into a large mixing bowl and combine before adding the parmasan, sundried tomatoes and basil. Combine until the ingredients are evenly mixed throughout.
  4. Make a well in the centre of the dry mixture and add around half your milk/lemon juice. Using your fingers lightly combine, adding more liquid as necessary – you may not use it all, but you are looking for a soft, slightly sticky, dough – a little drier than plain soda bread as the added ingredients will add moisture. Again try to ensure that your ingredients are evenly dispersed.
  5. Using floured hands put your dough onto a well oiled baking sheet. Form into a round and flatten. Use a sharp knife to cut a criss cross on the top, around a third of the way down. This allows the bread to expand as it bakes.
  6. Bake for 45mins until golden brown and cooked through. To test if bread is cooked turn it over and tap on the bottom – a hollow sound indicates it is cooked. If it isn’t turn it upside down and bake for a little longer.
  7. Although to cool slightly before serving warm – perfect served with a selection of antipasti and dipping oil and vinegar.

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