Daring Bakers Soda Bread Challenge September 2015 – Herb and Parmesan Soda Bread

For the month of September Meredith from the Poco Loco Olsons challenged us to experiment with soda bread. Soda Bread is a non-yeasted bread and is instead leavened with baking soda (Bi-Carb Soda if you’re in Australia with me!).


Does anyone else feel like their ‘to do’ list just keeps getting longer and longer? It’s like the list hydra, for every task I cross off two more take its place. Its a bit like that with my ‘to bake/cook’ list. Soda bread has been on my list of things to bake for a long, long time and, despite its relative simplicity, it’s one that I have just never gotten around to. As part of my decision this holidays to try to reignite some dearly missed creativity, I thought it was time I joined in a Daring Bakers Challenge. Embarrassingly, I don’t think i’ve participated for three or four years. Actually, I almost didn’t get this month’s challenge done. Oops!


I read the challenge and decided that I wanted to try this Irish Cheddar and Herb Soda Bread from Baking Bites, then I was super organised and wrote a shopping list for the few ingredients I didn’t already have in the pantry. So far, so good. Right? Then, when I got everything out ready to start baking, I couldn’t find the cheese. Anywhere. I even checked the bin to make sure that I didn’t somehow absent mindedly throw it in there. This cheese seemed to have disappeared into thin air. Hubs suggested that perhaps it had been left at the shops and he would drive me down there to get some more but we would miss our dinner date if I didn’t start baking right then and there. Then I had a brain wave. Why not sub the cheddar for parmesan? After all, parmesan is something we always have in the freezer. Win!


We always have it pre-grated too. Because, laziness.

IMG_2191After that, making the bread was a snap.
It’s pretty much just throw everything in the mixer and go!

IMG_2195I just made sure that I put the parmesan in the dough as well as on top

IMG_2199And I wasn’t disappointed!
Look how golden and puffy this bread is!

There are two fabulous things about this loaf:

1. It makes your whole house smell like Cheds, those little cheese crackers that are freakin awesome.

2. The loaf is soft and fluffy in texture and absolutely delicious when eaten still warm from the oven

I brought this loaf to dinner with my in-laws and we ate it dipped in olive oil and salt. It is also delicious on its own! Honestly, including the cooking time, this whole recipe probably took about 45 minutes from start to finish. It will definitely be featuring at many more family dinners in the future. I really enjoyed this challenge and i’m excited to be back on the Daring Bakers Wagon!

Herb and Parmesan Soda Bread Recipe – adapted from this recipe from Baking Bites

2 cups plain flour
1 1/2 tsp bicarb soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp Herbs de Provence
1 cup parmesan (grated)
1 cup buttermilk

1. Mix together the flour, bicarb, salt and sugar
2. Stir in half of the the buttermilk, 3/4 cups of parmesan and all of the herbs
3. Add the remaining buttermilk and mix until the dough becomes a shaggy mess
4. Using the dough hook (or kneading by hand) mix for a minute until the dough comes together and you can shape it into a smooth ball
5. Press into a disk roughly 1 1/2 inches high
6. Scatter the remaining cheese over the top then score a deep line across the loaf
7. Bake at 200 degrees celsius for 30-35 minutes until the top is golden brown
8. Devour

By Katie

What can I say? I love sweets, in all shapes and sizes! You only live once, so why not indulge once in a while? Or, in my case, most of the time...


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