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.
Parmesan, sundried tomato and basil soda bread
- 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!
- Preheat your oven to 200 degrees/180 degrees fan.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Although to cool slightly before serving warm – perfect served with a selection of antipasti and dipping oil and vinegar.
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