Crunchy craggy loaf

This recipe took no time at all, so this blog post might be similar.

I wanted to bake a bread this week, and originally I was planning on doing a different one that looks like a challah-type loaf, but work turned out to be quite busy this week and I’m low on energy so I decided to go with the bread that has zero rising time.

Crunchy craggy loaf.

If you’re confused, so am I.

This is the description:

Unlike a yeasted dough made with strong bread flour, the dough here should be mixed with a light touch, until the ingredients just come together, to avoid a tough, heavy result.

It seems to be a type of Irish soda bread. The first step is combining the white flour with spelt flour, plus baking soda (or “bicarbonate of soda” as the Brits say) and salt.

When I checked the spelt, it said it expired April 2021. It also said it’d be better refrigerated. (Oops.) It’s still April 2021, so I used the 300 grams and then put the rest in the fridge. Note to self: Use it up! (Spoiler alert: I may use it up by doing this recipe again.)

The next step is to rub the cold, diced butter into the flour. Surprisingly it only requires 25 grams of butter, which doesn’t seem like a lot compared to 400 grams. I guess I’m just used to scones and biscuits.

With the butter disappeared, I added the oats.

A note about the oats (which I’ve twice now misspelled as “oates” before getting it right). The recipe says “50 grams porridge oats” and “50 grams medium oatmeal.” I had to google the difference between porridge oats and oatmeal, and to be honest I still don’t fully understand. I only have Quaker Quick Oats, so I just did 75 grams of that.

Then in another bowl, I mixed together the buttermilk and treacle. As I said before, I don’t have buttermilk. I just have milk and lemon juice, so I did that for this recipe too.

The next step says to “Pour into the flour mixture and quickly mix everything together: you can use a wooden spoon, a round-bladed knife or a plastic spatula, although your hands do a fine job.”

Do they?

It says if it’s too wet and sticks to your fingers, work in a little more flour. I had to add another 3/4 cup of white flour until eventually it stopped sticking to my fingers.

The next step says to tip it onto a floured surface, but the description also says not to overwork it, so since I mixed it so much making sure it wasn’t sticky, I decided to just form it into a ball in the bowl and place on a lined baking sheet.

It also says to add more oats on top of the loaf and “cut a deep cross into the top.”

Time to bake.

*35 minutes plus three more minutes*

The recipe description also said, “If you prefer a slightly softer crust, as soon as the loaf comes out of the oven, rub the top with a dab of butter on a scrap of greaseproof paper.”

So that’s what I did.

I also left a chunk of butter on top to soak in just to be safe.

After all, who doesn’t love butter?

When it cooled a little, I had a slice (or two or three) with more butter. And a bite with peanut butter. And another bite with blueberry jam.

I thoroughly enjoyed it and it took less than an hour in total, which is not bad at all for a bread!

There’s an option to make it “sweet” and “fruited” by adding sugar, ground ginger and raisins, which is something I’ll definitely be doing. (I should do that before the end of the month to make sure the spelt doesn’t expire—good idea, right?)

It might also be good with dried figs like the other bread recipe I’ve done.

The possibilities are endless!

Seventeen recipes and counting.

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