Prep: 10 mins Cook/Bake: 25 mins Oven Temp: 170 C (pre-heat) Yields: 1 loaf (8-10 slices) Level: Beginner
During this Covid-19 induced lockdown, many a grocery items that do not qualify as “essentials” have been in shortage including yeast. Either everyone has been baking bread at home or there really is a shortage in supply due to restrictions on movement of non-essential items across state borders. So when first decided to bake bread during this lockdown I searched high and low for yeast but to no avail.
I came home dejected 2 days in a row – every time trying a new grocery or a kirana store. And then inspiration struck! If cake could be baked without yeast then baking bread in a similar way should also be possible. I vaguely remembered something called as an Irish Soda Bread and I knew it needed no yeast. Since then I have baked Soda Bread in a a variety of combinations including plain bread without any flavoring elements and by far my most favorite and the most popular no-yeast bread in our home is the Pepper Garlic Cheese Soda Bread.
This bread is great on its own – just toast it and lightly butter it or grill it with some cheese and tomatoes or o my favorite route and pair it with some creamy onion soup! Due to the garlic and pepper, it tastes great with pasta too and my husband likes to eat his with single side fried egg!
- All Purpose Flour – 21/2 cups
- Baking Soda – 1/2 tsp (strictly not more)
- Butter – 21/4 tbsp
- Curd + Milk – 1/2 cup + 1/2 cup (you can use 1 cup buttermilk instead as well)
- Pepper – 3 tbsp
- Garlic – 7 cloves (finely chopped)
- Grated Processed Cheese – as per taste (optional)
Step 1 – Preheat oven to 170 C
Mix all the dry ingredients, butter and cheese together.
Add the curd & milk mixture or if you are using buttermilk to the dry mixture and lightly knead the dough. Add a little flour if you need to.
Keep in mind to not knead it too much else your bread will turn our dry and chewy.
Shape the dough the way you want it, I am going for an oblong log shape today.
Step 5 – You may also want to score (slit cuts with a sharp knife) the dough on top else your bread will crack. I did not score my bread because I like the look of cracked bread.
Step 6 – Put the bread dough in the oven in a greased pan. Bake for 25 mins at 170 C.
This is an extremely simple recipe and many variations can be made switching the flavoring elements. For example, instead of the pepper, garlic and cheese, you could add cinnamon, raisins and a little sugar OR add olives, sundried tomatoes and basil. Experiment away – the world is your oyster with this bread 🙂