It’s soccer mania in our house at the moment what with the UEFA Euro 2016 soccer tournament currently showing on ESPN. We’ve been religiously tuning in to all the TV match replays and the men in my house have been enthusiastically shouting their support of various European national teams at our poor old TV screen. I feel sorry for the neighbors.
Last night we watched Sweden take on the Republic of Ireland. Yellow shirts vs. Greens. Vikings versus Leprechauns. When I first saw all those enthusiastic Irish supporters cheering on their team in Paris, I got to thinking (as I often do) about the best of different countries’ cuisines and for Ireland, it’s all about their bread (and obviously the Guinness too).
The Irish are really good bakers and their Irish soda bread is famous and delicious. I’m not a brilliant baker myself but a couple of weeks ago I tried to improve on this by making Rye Soda Bread using a Jamie Oliver recipe from his Everyday Superfood cookbook. I like this recipe because it doesn’t involve any proofing or waiting. Just mix the ingredients and bake.
Rye flour is a great ingredient as not only is it a good source of dietary fiber but it is advantageous in terms of weight loss efforts. The type of fiber in rye is quite unique, in that it binds really effectively with water molecules, meaning that it makes you feel full very quickly and keeps you full for longer than other grains. That’s why Ryvita crackers were so successful with the popular weight loss diets of 70s and 80s.
Here’s the recipe – when ready it’s a knockout warm with a little fresh butter or as an accompaniment to soups and stews.
Rye Soda Bread
250g wholemeal flour, plus extra for dusting
100g rye flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 large egg
300ml plain yogurt
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees f. Place both flours, the oats, bicarbonate of soda and 1 level tsp of sea salt in a large bowl and mix together.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the egg and yogurt together, then use a fork to stir the egg mixture into the flour. Once it starts to come together, use your lightly floured hands to pat and bring the dough together.
- Shape the dough into a round ball and place on a lightly floured baking tray, dusting the top lightly with flour. Use your hands to lightly flatten the dough into a disc, roughly 1.5 inches deep. Score a cross or star into the top with a knife, about 1/4 inch deep.
- Bake in the centre of the oven for 40-45 minutes , or until a firm crust has formed and it sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.
- Transfer to a wire rack to cool and serve slightly warm.