The extent of my baking knowledge up until now has been to follow the instructions on the back of the ready mix boxes. Come along with Shae and myself as we embark on a six week baking challenge where we push our comfort zones and try baking recipes we have never done before!
Week 3 – Soda Bread
We all know that there are two types of bread, leavened and unleavened. Leavened breads incorporate some type of rising agent such as yeast or bicarbonate, where as unleavened breads do not.
This week, I attempted a leavened soda bread. The bread gets its rise from the chemical reaction of bicarbonate (a base) with lemon juice (an acid). When bases and acids mix together they fizz, and it is that fizz that gives the soda bread its air pockets and rise.
Soda breads are a part of the quick bread family. They only take about an hour to prepare and cook because you do not have to wait for the yeast to break down sugar and ferment.
I used flour, sharp cheddar cheese, bacon, baking soda (my base), milk, lemon juice (my acid), a pinch of sugar, a pinch of salt, and dried chives for my mix.
After combining all of the ingredients thoroughly and a little bit of kneading the dough was formed into a ball and a cross was cut into the top to help heat penetrate during baking.
The recipe I was following said to bake it for 22 minutes. After 30 minutes it was starting to look done on the outside.
But the inside was a different story. As Paul Hollywood would say, “It’s raw”.
I found the flavor to be quite bland. The bread needed a lot more filling to be interesting and should I attempt another soda bread I would make it flatter to promote more even baking.
What should we try baking for next week? I was thinking of tackling puff pastry.