Here’s a secret: I’m a restless soul and haven’t the patience for bread-making. Our airing cupboard is for drying the laundry, not proofing a loaf – and I suspect I’d come back to find the dough littered with child-sized fingerprints and full of lego pieces if I tried.
Soda bread, however, is right up my street. No labourious kneading (just a quick once-over to knock it into shape) and no tapping of feet while waiting for the dough to rise. Fresh-baked bread with a minimum of preparation? Yes, please.
And so this recipe is well tried and tested at our dinner table. Originally adapted from the fabulous Jack Monroe’s Easy Soda Bread (also vegan), we’ve reduced the liquid content and added flavour through tomato puree and chopped garlic, before throwing in a generous handful of black olives for good measure. Strictly, soda bread should be made with buttermilk – but soya or almond milk curdled with a little lemon juice does the job here and has the added benefit of being cheaper.
So simple and so delicious, this vegan soda bread makes the kitchen smell wonderful, looks impressive when the in-laws come to dinner and is the perfect accompaniment for soups and stews.
- 200 g self raising flour
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 175 ml almond or soya milk
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp tomato puree
- 1 tsp chopped garlic
- 1 handful black olives chopped in half
Preheat the oven to 180c.
Add the lemon juice to the almond/soya milk and put to one side for a few minutes to curdle.
Meanwhile, measure the flour and bicarbonate of soda in a large bowl and stir well.
Once the milk mixture has thickened, mix in the garlic and tomato.
Make a well in the centre of the flour and pour in the liquid slowly, mixing to combine. Then fold in the chopped olives. The dough will be very wet but should come together in a loose ball.
Dust your worktop with flour and dump out the dough onto the surface. Knead it very lightly with floured hands and pat it into shape.
Scatter the top with flour and score the top with a wet knife to let the steam out. Drop onto an oven sheet and bake for 40 minutes.