It is nearly St Patrick’s Day!
It has been a while since I made bread, so I thought I would make a giant loaf. This soda bread recipe is really easy and you can whip it up in under an hour – no yeast required. You can even do some of the work in advance – cook the bacon and cabbage the night before and keep the mixture in the fridge until you are ready to bake.
Having the bacon and cabbage, plus a little bit of cheese, really gives this bread plenty of flavour. One tip I would give is to make sure that you remove any thick parts from the cabbage leaves before you slice them, as these thicker parts will take longer to cook and might end up too dense in the finished loaf.
This is perfect on its own for lunch on St Patrick’s Day. You could spread it with butter when serving but it really doesn’t need it.
Ingredients – serves 4/6:
1 tbsp olive oil
150g/5 oz bacon, diced
approx 300g/10 oz green cabbage, finely sliced
- black pepper, to season
- 2 tbsp water
300g/10 oz plain (all purpose) flour
300g/10 oz plain wholemeal flour
2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup grated cheese of your choice (I used Tasty, which is like cheddar)
2 cups milk (any kind)
2 tbsp lemon juice (from a bottle is fine)
- Add the olive oil to a large saute or frying pan and place over a medium/high heat. Put the bacon and cabbage into the pan along with a good seasoning of black pepper.
- Cook for 6-8 minutes, stirring regularly, until the bacon is just golden and the cabbage is tender. Add the water to the pan and stir until it disappears. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool, or place in the fridge if making in advance.
- Heat your oven to 200C/180C fan forced/390F.
- Put the flours, bicarb of soda, salt, grated cheese and cooked bacon/cabbage mixture into a large bowl. Mix together using a flat bladed knife, ensuring that the flour coats all the bacon/cabbage and cheese.
- Add the milk and lemon juice. Mix using the knife and then form into a ball of dough using your hands.
- Place the dough onto a non-stick baking tray. Form into a large 30cm/12 inch round disc, about 3cm/1 inch thick.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown all over. The bread is done when it sounds hollow when tapped on the base.
- Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 10 minutes before serving. If you are not serving immediately, leave to cool and then keep in an airtight container in the fridge overnight. (The bread is best eaten within a day or two.)