August 02, 2012

Wholemeal Soda Bread

I think bread is special, something simple and honest yet delicious.  Every time you break it, smell it, eat it, it makes life a little  better, even if it is only for 5 minutes. Good bread is something you never get bored with.  
It delights afresh, every day.
Gail Stephens

Soda Bread

Underneath the street level in Walton Street are two brick ovens, each with the original stone-covered baking floor covering 10 square meters. They were built and installed in 1902. That signified the beginning of Baker & Spice till present day fascinating London with a great doze of  outstanding cakes, mouthwatering pastries and heavenly crunchy bread. All of them are organic, shaped carefully by hands and made with love by bakers working on the premises and using traditional ingredients and techniques.

We are what we buy; and that has moral as well as price consequences. We use as much that is organic as possible. We work with the seasons and are very careful about where our raw materials come from. Does it have to travel half way round the world to get here? If something comes from the Third World, who exploited whom to get it here? I don't sit in the office and buy blind on the telephone. I go to Covent Garden market daily, and read and check every label on every box of fresh produce that I buy. I smell and feel the goods as well as taste them. Once a moth I go to a big dried fruit, nut and spice importer. Buying is never an auto-pilot. I really spend a lot of time with suppliers to get it right.

Everything we sell is baked on the premises. What you see is what you get and what you get is what we make. And that involves learned techniques and very hard work. The point of Baker & Spice is that it is self-contained; we don't buy in anything ready-made. We do things the way people use to do them, which in the age of factory farming and supermarkets have largely been forgotten.  
Gail Stephens *

This kind of attitude is really something to be delighted with! Unfortunately, I haven't had a chance to visit this bakery yet, but I will definitely go there on my next trip to London to savor a beautiful morning croissant or perfectly crusty sourdough bread as an ideally matching accompaniment to my lunch salad. For now, the only thing I can do is just follow one of their recipes for an amazingly delicious soda bread which supposedly is also hanging out somewhere in the bakery from the early the morning. 

Oh, and the bread is good. Really good!

* cited from Exceptional Breads: Baker & Spice

Soda Bread

Wholemeal Soda Bread
adapted from  Exceptional Breads

for 1 big or 2 small loafs
1 1/4 cup (300 ml) buttermilk, or plain low-fat yogurt
1 Tbsp molasses
1 cup (220 g) self raising flour, or 3/4 cup (175 g) all purpose flour + 1 tsp baking powder
1 cup (200g) wholemeal flour, whole-wheat or whole-rye
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt

Preheat the oven to 375 F (190 C).
Mix the buttermilk, or yogurt, with molasses. 
In another bowl, combine all the dry ingredients. Pour over the buttermilk mixture and mix well with your hands to make a dough. Knead until you get soft, but not too wet and not too sticky dough. Shape into a ball and place on a lightly floured baking tray. Cut a deep cross into the top of the load, taking the cuts all the way through to the bottom.
Bake for 1 hour if making a big loaf, and for 30-40 minutes if making a couple of smaller ones. Bake until the bread sounds hollow when tapped on the base.

The recipe was also submitted to YeastSpotting

Soda Bread

More breads?
- Avocado and Lime Bread
- Pumpkin and Cheese Bread
- Molasses Biscuits


  1. mmm... ir atrodo puikiai, ir tikrai žinau, kad skaniii :)

    1. o dar ir kaip lengvai sumeistraujama! Žodžiu, tobulumo viršūnė ;)

  2. Delicious bread. Quick and wholesome looking as well as tasty. Molasses gives it a moistness that some soda breads don't have as well as a lovely colour.

    Ann Saunders