Wholewheat Irish Soda Bread

Wholewheat Irish Soda BreadThis recipe was given to me by Siobhan Gough, the young Irish head chef at Slice Delicatessen & Bakery in Shanghai. Actually its her grandmother's recipe which has been handed down through the generations. Its on the menu for the ‘Ploughman’s Plate’ and goes down a treat with a strong cheddar cheese because of its intense whole wheat flavours and dense texture. It is quick and easy to make. Natural yoghurt is hard to come by in China so when we were testing it, we used the typical semi-sweet yoghurt and this gives it an extra special sweetness that I really like. You can add one tablespoon of sunflower seeds, linseeds, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, almonds, sesame seeds to create your own multi cereal version. (Recipe from "Global Baker - Dean Brettschneider")

215g plain flour
10g baking powder
5g baking soda
5g cream of tartar
good pinch of salt
225g whole wheat or wholemeal flour
20g treacle, honey or golden syrup
225ml milk
225g natural yoghurt

rolled oats for decoration

Makes one loaf 21cm long x 9cm wide x 8cm high

1. Sieve the plain flour, baking powder, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt into a large mixing bowl, add the whole wheat flour and stir together. Add the milk and natural yoghurt and using a wooden spoon, stir the mixture together until the mixture is well combined and is almost batter like in consistency. You are not looking for a elastic dough so don’t be alarmed and tempted to all more flour.

2. Pour the mixture into the greased baking loaf and level the top smooth, then sprinkle with rolled oats.

3. Using a large flat plastic scraper with its edges brushed with oil, push it into the dough lengthways, half way down into the batter and pull it out again. This will create a place for the loaf to split when rising during the first stages of baking.

4. Place directly into a preheated oven set at 180 - 190ºC and bake for almost 1 hour or until a cake skewer comes out clean when inserted.

Remove from the oven and tip out onto a cooling rack.