I've made basic soda bread a few times before when I've run out of bread and not had time to bake proper bread with yeast. It's generally turned out OK and I might blog it in the future. I use a dairy free recipe for basic soda bread mainly because I don't always have milk in the house as neither of us particularly likes it and it only ever gets used in cooking or baking. I drink green tea or black coffee and have yoghurt on cereal and my boyfriend doesn't like hot drinks, so unless I know I'm going to be making something that needs milk, I don't buy it. This version is not dairy free, it uses plain yoghurt instead of the traditional buttermilk and was inspired by a recipe in the March issue of Good Food magazine. I've only used white flour here but you could also use some wholemeal flour as well to make it a bit healthier if you wanted to. I also used some of the dried fruit from that I won from my prize. I baked this bread and then I found out about the Fresh From The Oven blogging challenge which is all about bread and this month the theme is breakfast fruit breads hosted by Sarah from La cuisine de Sarah. I thought this loaf would be perfect as I've been eating it for breakfast the past few days.
400g plain white flour
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp mixed spice
75g caster sugar
300ml plain yoghurt
170g mixed dried fruit - use your favourite fruits e.g. raisins, apricots, dates etc (I used a pack of 5 fruit mix from Natural Selection Foods ) demerara sugar for sprinkling
Preheat the oven to 200C. Add the flour, bicarbonate of soda, mixed spice, sugar and fruit to a large mixing bowl and stir to combine. Pour in the yoghurt and use a butter knife to bring everything together into a dough. Tip out on to a lightly floured work top and shape into a round loaf then transfer to a lightly floured baking tray. Cut a deep cross into the loaf and sprinkle the top with demerara sugar. Bake for 30-35 minutes until golden, turn out onto a cooling rack and serve warm spread with lots of butter.