Another rainy ‘summer’ day! There isn’t much else to do on a wet afternoon than bake some bread and give you a quick update on the balcony garden. Yesterday we added a few new items to the mix: two types of reed grass, chives, additional basil (as the last batch of three different types is looking quite sad), and some ivy. The idea is get as much greenery growing upwards as possible to create more of a garden feel, like a little oasis! So far: no sign of bug infestation! So far, so good! Below the bread recipe you can see a comparison between tomatoes week 1 and tomatoes week 4, as well as a few of the new items.
Irish Soda Bread with Garlic + Chili: yields one loaf.
450 g all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp fresh or dried garlic
1 tsp dried chili flakes
1+1/2 tsp baking soda
300-400 ml buttermilk
-Preheat your oven to 450 F. This is very important as the bread needs to bake at a very high temperature. Preheat the oven before you do anything else.
-Whisk together all of the dry ingredients well to be sure the soda especially is well blended throughout.
-Add the wet ingredients and begin blending the dough with a large spoon until it begins to come together. Switch to forming the dough with your hands and squeeze and fold the dough a few times until it starts to form a large sticky rough ball.
-You don’t want to knead the dough like a traditional yeast raised bread, do not overmix. Think of this bread as a quick bread like muffins, in that you just want to bring the ingredients together in rough form.
-Mix just until the dough holds together nicely and isn’t crumbling all over the counter. Add a small splash of additional milk or buttermilk if the dough is too dry to come together.
-Flour the surface of the dough a little and flatten into an even round disk a couple of inches thick. Slash the top of the disk approx. half way through the dough, forming an X.
-Place the dough on a lightly floured piece of parchment paper and toss into the oven on a pizza stone for 10-15 minutes before reducing the oven temperature to 400 F.
-Bake for approx 25-35 minutes or until the dough is dark golden on the outside and has a hollow sound when tapped with your finger tips. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack until the bread is room temperature.
Slather with butter and devour. Obviously.
And a quick garden update…