Friday, 9 November 2012

Cheese and apple soda bread

I'm feeling a little awkward on my computer right now.  You see, me and my new computer are still getting to know each other.  So here is a simple supper that we had this week.  What some like Lucy might call a nibbly tea.  I had leftover pate, cut up some vegies and baked a loaf of soda bread.

The soda bread follows a quest that is unravelling on this blog.  A quest for marrying apple and cheese.  At first I tried cake which was far too sweet.  Then I tried a couple of scone recipes that were either too sweet or not fruity enough.  This week I tried the combination in this soda bread.  The bread was not at all sweet, the chunks of apple was pleasant in a savoury sort of way but the cheese taste was missing.  I talked about it with my mum who suggested some parmesan cheese or sharp vintage cheddar. 

The recipe come from the River Cottage Cafe but there seemed to be a problem.  I love recipes on the internet because of its interactive nature.  Fortunately I read the comment about using either guiness or buttermilk rather than both (which the recipe seemed to require) which explained why a few people found it so soggy.  I also read someone say it was too salty and halved the salt.  My dough was a bit dry.  Sylvia thought I needed to put soda water into soda bread so I did.  It was then a bit damp but nothing that a bit of flour and a quick knead couldn't fix.  Next time a bit more salt and maybe a little more cheesiness.  (Or just go vegan and don't even bother about the cheese!)

Despite the lack of cheesiness, I loved this cheese and apple soda bread.  It was a warm rustic brown bread with a rough crust and barely sweet chunks of apple.  A perfect vehicle for the pate and a quick contribution to a lazy meal.

Previously on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
One year ago: Smoky potato, bean and corn salad
Two years ago: Queen Victoria Market - lunchtime delights
Three years ago: Recreating Pad Thai
Four years ago: Roasted Asparagus, Tomato and Caper Pasta
Five years ago: Whimsical nutloaf and salad

Cheese and apple soda bread
Adapted from the River Cottage Cafe

250ml buttermilk (I used 1 tsp cider vinegar and topped up a cup with soy milk)
100ml sunflower or rapeseed oil
200g white bread flour (mine was regular flour)
250g wholemeal flour
50g rolled oats
10g (2 tsp) fine salt (I used 1 tsp but might use more next time)
1 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 medium apple, peeled, cored and diced
75g grated Cheddar cheese
100ml soda water (I would probably use a little more next time)

If you are using milk and vinegar rather than buttermilk, mix them together and set aside for 5 minutes while you preheat oven to 230 C and lightly grease a baking tray.

Lightly whisk buttermilk (or milk and vinegar) with oil.  Mix remaining ingredients (except soda water) in a medium mixing bowl.  Make a well in the middle and pour in milk and oil mixture.  Add a little soda water if the mixture is too dry.  I added 100ml which was too much but I just kneaded briefly with some flour.

Shape into a round loaf on greased tray.  (The recipe said to set aside some grated cheese to scatter on the loaf but I forgot.)  Slash a couple of times.  Bake for 35-40 minutes.  Cool on a rack.  Eat warm or at room temperature.  Ours was still good the next night after being stored in a paper bag.

    On the stereo:
    Costello Music: The Fratellis


    1. Oh, this looks lovely! I keep hoping you'll use blue cheese one day ;)

      1. Thanks Hannah - never thought of blue cheese and apple but sounds like a great combination to try

    2. It looks wonderful. I would say if the dough is wet, don't add any more flour, just keep working it and you will end up with a better loaf :)

      1. Thanks Jac - sadly I am not that brave - it is not the sort of dough that you want to work too much which is why I used some flour - this dough was a bit squelchy

    3. So funny that you made this - I bought a teatowel in Sonoma that has a recipe for cheddar and apple bread on it, and I keep meaning to make it. Your version looks delicious.

      1. thanks cakelaw - hope you do make this bread and blog about it - I am sure I will find that perfect cheddar and apple combination one day so maybe the teatowel has it :-)

    4. This looks great Johanna - I love apple in bread but have never tried it in soda bread, which now seems like it might be the best match for it.

      1. PS. I am very fond of nibbly teas, even if I've never heard the phrase before. I'm adopting it!

    5. You do make me laugh - you make your own bread and then call it a lazy meal! I haven't made soda bread for ages and I'm finding this one with it's combination of apple and cheese very tempting. It looks so good too. Even though you weren't bowled over with it, I suspect I'd really like it, but will make it with cheddar.

    6. Thanks for the inspiration on this one Johanna. I made a version of this for supper tonight with soup and it was delicious. As per your suggestion, I added a bit more cheddar, but also some cayenne pepper. I used a small some amount of butter and no oil. I really liked the cheese and apple combination and was a timely reminder to me that soda bread is really very good and I should make it more often.


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