Simple Fruit soda bread

Soda bread is about as quick as it gets, with the exception of some flatbreads that don’t require any resting time. This recipe takes a fairly traditional Irish soda bread and adds a cinnamon and fruit twist.

Because of the lack of kneading and proofing, and the long baking time, this loaf is also ideal for gluten free baking: you can substitute the flour for all purpose gluten free flour (and make sure that the baking soda is also GF)

As making soda bread is more like baking a cake than a loaf, my measurements here are in (Australian) volume rather than weight.

Fruit soda bread makes one loaf

2 cups plain (all purpose) flour
1/2 cup flaxseed (linseed)
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp agave or honey
1 tbsp cold butter, diced
1 cup mixed currants and sultanas
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 cup milk, plus extra

1. Mix all of the ingredients in a large bowl. Thoroughly combine all of the ingredients.
2. Preheat oven to 190C
3. Grease a 900g loaf tin and line with baking paper. Pour the mix into the tin and push down so that it fills any gaps.
4. Bake for 45 minutes. Test by inserting a cake skewer, which should come out clean. If it looks like the top might burn cover loosely with tin foil.
5. Cool for 10 minutes in the tin, then too out onto a wire rack and cool completely.

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(Gluten Free) quinoa and millet loaf

As you could probably guess from previous posts, I am neither gluten intolerant nor gluten sensitive. I’m also not a fan of fad diets or cutting out whole food groups without a good reason. I do, however, like to experiment with different bread recipes, and have enjoyed the challenge of making a quality gluten free bread. If there’s a chance that there are actually some health benefits along the way, then that’s a bonus.

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I have been looking around for a decent gluten free recipe and some of the ingredients are a little concerning. Xanthan gum, used to replace the elasticity of gluten, is often highly processed. So too are the flours often found in gluten free bread; tapioca, potato and rice. Instead, I searched for recipes that are similar to the whole grain sourdoughs I am used to.

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This recipe is based on one I found here. I have adjusted the recipe slightly to include linseed and millet as well as the quinoa and chia. The chia replaces xanthan gum and gives the dough a springy textured crumb whilst the combination of millet and quinoa give a crunchy crust and excellent flavour. This loaf isn’t winning any prizes for its appearances… It looks similar to a 100% rye loaf, but the method is completely different to any loaf I have made before. The leavening comes from the combination of bicarbonate of soda and lemon juice, and there is no “dough” as such- instead the ingredients from a batter. The flavour, which is the most important thing, is great, and the texture is very pleasant too.

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Gluten free quinoa and millet loaf makes one small loaf

60g chia seed
125g water
150g hulled millet
100g red quinoa
50g linseed
60ml olive oil
125g water
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp lemon juice

1. Soak the chia in 125g water overnight or for at least 4 hours. In a different bowl, soak the millet, quinoa and linseed in about twice the volume of water.
2. Rinse the quinoa mix thoroughly and drain in a sieve until all of the water has drained out. Preheat oven to 160C.
3. Combine the quinoa mix, chia, which should now be gel-like, the remaining 125g water, olive oil, lemon juice, bicarbonate and salt in a food processor. Blend for 3 minutes.
4. Line a small loaf tin with baking paper. Pour the batter-like mix into the tin and bake for one and a half hours, until the loaf is firm but slightly springy.
5. Cool in the tin for 30 min, then cool completely on a wire rack before slicing. As per the instructions on the original website, I fried the slices in a pan rather than toasting before eating, although it would be good without frying too.

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