My weekend was quiet and deservingly restful, I was grateful not to have any plans.
I spent time cooking and catching up on my reading – my ideal type of weekend, it also helped that the weather on Saturday was splendid.
I enjoyed a calm sunny day, and ended up baking soda bread for lunch after losing my morning to a series of flavour-filled books.
I love soda bread for quick impromptu lunches – it’s fast and quite easy to make.
Unlike yeast breads, it relies on baking soda for leavening; and there’s no kneading involved.
It’s quite the hearty loaf too, it’s rustic, dense yet tender, slightly moist with a crusty exterior.
There are a great many variations of soda bread, but this almond, raisin and basil soda bread is the kind I make often, it’s nutty, fruity and herby.
Often times I make it with woody herbs like rosemary and thyme, and occasionally with basil (when it needs to be used up) for a subtler flavour, and then I pile on savoury toppings like olives, pesto, and other hardy dips or this chopped herb and lentil salad, it makes for a fast and satisfying lunch.
Of course, it’s lovely too slathered with butter with a salad or a bowl of soup, so we usually have leftovers for the next day… extra slices to soak up our Sunday soup.
And for breakfast the next mornings, try it toasted and buttered with a spread of jam.
- 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons almond milk
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 1 cup whole-wheat flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/3 cup raisins
- 1/3 cup almonds, chopped
- 1 cup loosely packed fresh basil, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoons almond extract
- Combine almond milk and apple cider vinegar in a cup and let it stand for at least 5 minutes
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. and line a baking tray with parchment paper
- Sift all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour together with baking soda in a large bowl
- Add raisins, chopped almonds, basil, salt and nutmeg, and mix
- Add almond milk and vinegar mixture, together with the almond extract and stir with a spatula until a sticky dough forms
- Turn dough out on to a clean flour-dusted surface, and form into a round shape, about 6 inches in diameter
- Transfer dough on to prepared baking sheet
- Use a sharp knife (dipped in flour) to cut an X on the surface of the dough
- Dust with a little bit of flour
- Bake in the oven for 30 – 35 minutes, until the bread is golden brown and cooked through, and sounds hollow when the bottom is tapped.
- Cool on a wire rack and enjoy!