So as I said in my last post I wanted to bake something special to go with the lovely pumpkin jam I made. I quickly made up my mind that I wanted some sort of bread to go with it. (Although it would probably work really well on a scone or biscuit sort of thing as well. I’ll try that next time and let you know.) To complement the sweetness in the jam it needed to be a wholesome kind of loaf ideally with a bit of a crunch to it. And I wanted something quick that would be ready at the same time as my jam instead of having to wait 3 days and 4 nights for the dough to rise. Which is fine of course when you are in the mood for some slow cooking but you know, sometimes a gal just wants to get her bread and jam groove on pronto!
Tataa! Step in my food hero supreme. The woman who has inspired me and probably tons of others to start blogging about healthy, tasty, vegetarian food. The woman who’s food, travels and adventures by now have become part of my life. She is super creative, never pedantic, always seems upbeat and positive. And has darn good taste to boot. Drum roll please….. Heidi Swanson from 101 cookbooks of course. If you’ve been surfing the foodie virtual waves for some time and not living under any kind of rock you most likely have come across her work before. She probably is one of the most referred to healthy foodies out there. Her blog www.101cookbooks.com and two fantastic paper cookbooks (super natural cooking and super natural cooking every day) have become my cooking bibles of sort and really every and any recipe I have made following her instructions have brought me a little closer to God as it were. Oh boy, here comes the drama queen again…. But melodramatic or not, I urge you to visit her blog if you haven’t yet and promise you’ll have a religious experience as well. Just please don’t forget I’m also still alive ok? Please? Promise? Thank you! I often say to people I want to be Heidi Swanson when I grow up. Sadly for me I’m already all grown up….Luckily for Heidi I’m already all grown up… But a girl can dream can’t she??
I had made soda bread many times before I found Heidi’s oatmeal version that is simply divine. Apparantly she was inspired by another food blogger who was inspired by her in the first place and who is now inspiring me and hopefully soon you. Never mind all this inspirational business! Let’s get down to it.
Somehow the oatmeal makes the whole thing much more wholesome, satisfying and comforting than any other soda bread recipe I had tried before. I made two versions. One sticking obediently to Heidi’s recipe from her blog and baking one entire round loaf. And one where I used whole meal spelt flour instead of the regular wheat flour the original recipe calls for which I baked as smalller sized individual buns. I also mixed in plenty of poppy seeds and a serious grinding of fresh black pepper through the dough for extra crunch and spice. Both versions were delish although mine was slightly heavier. Eat this bread straight from the oven. Although it is said to keep well I really like it best when served as fresh as possible.
Oats with their sticky and heavy qualities are especially good for Vata and Pitta. For Kapha, Heidi The Great (as I nicknamed my culinary hero) also has a version made with rye flour in her book super natural cooking everyday. Rye has a much dryer quality than oats and is a perfect grain for Kapha. Try all versions and without a doubt you’ll soon be calling her Heidi The Great yourself!
Oat soda bread
Makes 1 medium round loaf
- 200 gram rolled oats (havervlokken for the dutch speakers)
- 285 grams unbleached all purpose wheat flour
- 1 3/4 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
- 400 ml buttermilk, plus 2 tablespoons for brushing the top of the loaf
- seeds to taste (sesame, poppy, linseed, some whole rolled oats) I added pinenuts for extra decadence but do keep a close eye on them as they tend to burn easily
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Finely grind the oats into a flour in a food processor. In a big bowl sift the oat flour, wheat flour, baking soda and salt together. Make a well in the centre and slowly pour in the buttermilk. Lightly mix until it just comes together than turn out on a floured board and knead for 30 seconds or so. Form it into a round loaf without too many cracks. Brush with the buttermilk and sprinkle liberally with the seeds and/or nuts. With a sharp knife make 2 deep slashes crosswise on top of the loaf. Set on the prepared baking sheet and bake in the middle of the oven for about 30 minutes. Than quickly move the baking sheet one rack up and let the bread bake for another 20 minutes (It will form an even crunchier top by doing this.) When done the bread will feel heavy and sound hollow when you knock on the bottom. Test your patience and let cool on a wire rack for 10 to 15 minutes. (Otherwise you won’t be able to slice it if still too hot.)
For the Kapha version switch 275 grams rye flour for the oat flour, use 225 grams unbleached wheat flour instead of the 285 grams and use 475 ml of buttermilk instead of the 400 ml. Follow the same procedure as above.
Oat and wholemeal spelt soda buns
Makes about 10 individual sized buns
- 200 grams rolled oats (grinded to flour)
- 285 gram whole wheat spelt flour
- 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
- 1 3/4 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
- generous grinding of black pepper
- 400 ml buttermilk plus extra for coating
- poppy seeds and rolled oats for sprinkling
Follow the above recipe but mix in the tablespoon of poppy seeds and black pepper after you’ve sieved the flours with the salt and baking soda. Proceed as above. After kneading the dough form 10 round buns. I used a biscuit cutter to form mine. Brush each with some buttermilk and sprinkle poppy seeds and rolled oats on top. Bake 20 to 30 minutes or until golden brown and hollow when tapped on the bottom.