Bread, in my humble opinion, has to be home baked. The sad little loaves that line the supermarket shelves, all pale, thin and squished can never compare to the crusty, plump and wholesome loaves that come from your own oven. The warm, nutty smell that drifts from the kitchen and turns your house into a bakery.
The perfect hollow sound that makes your spirits soar as you take it from the oven and tap against the sturdy crust.
That first bite, without any spreads or butters or jams, without any onion or chutneys, just the fresh bread, still warm from the oven making you sigh a happy sigh.
This bread is wonderfully moist, the peppers, onions and tomatoes lend a softness to the dough, making it slightly addictive if eaten fresh from the oven (!), but also lovely to toast the next day.
I used Spelt flour, which is made from an old English wheat and is gentler on sensitive stomachs. The roughness of this flour works really well with this bread, combined with the roasted vegetables it creates a very earthy, rustic and delicious loaf.
Here's the recipe! This makes a small loaf, the recipe can be doubled for a larger, usual sized loaf.
Spiced Up Roasted Red Pepper & Tomato Soda Bread
8 1/2 oz (250g) Spelt wholegrain flour
1 tsp Bicarbonate soda
1 tsp Basil
Large pinch of salt
Large pinch of black pepper
7 fl oz (200ml) Coconut milk - half a can
A good splash of cider vinegar
4 Cherry/baby plum tomatoes - sliced in half
Big handful toasted pumpkin seeds
1 Red pepper - sliced very thinly
1 Small red onion (about 2 oz/60g) - sliced very thinly
1 Small chopped chili
1 tbsp Coconut oil
Large pinch of salt
Large pinch black pepper
4 Cloves of garlic - leave the skins on and crush them slightly
Come on, lets go get spicy in the kitchen...
- First things first, you'll need to chop up your onion and pepper, really nice and thin. Now pop them on a baking tray and add your cloves of garlic. Now take the tbsp of coconut oil and rub it between your hands to melt it a bit and then use your hands to rub the oil all over the veg.
- When the pepper, onion and garlic is completely coated, sprinkle on the salt, pepper and chili. Mix it all around and then bake at 200c for about 15-20 minutes, until the garlic and veg is soft and starting to caramelize.
- Take them out and pop them into a bowl and set aside.
- Now sprinkle the pumpkin seeds onto the baking tray - don't wash it, let the oils from the veg roast the pumpkin seeds. Pumpkin seeds don't take long, only a few minutes so watch they don't burn! When you hear them popping you know they're done.
- Whilst they're roasting, pour the coconut milk into a jug and add a splash of cider vinegar, set it aside to curdle slightly.
- Now you can make the dough! Sift the flour, bicarbonate soda, salt, pepper and basil together in your favourite mixing bowl.
- Now add the coconut milk and vinegar, bit by bit and mix with your hands until the dough comes together. This dough will be very wet, but pleeease don't be tempted to add lots more flour!
- LIGHTLY flour your surface and your hands, and kneed the dough for a few minutes.
- Take the roasted garlic (it should be soft and sweet) remove the skin and chop it roughly.
- Now you can add the roasted pepper, onion, chili, garlic and pumpkin seeds to the dough and kneed away!
- Once combined, flour the dough slightly, just to stop it sticking and place it on a baking tray. You can shape it how you like it, I formed it into an oval and flattened it a bit.
- Now take your sliced tomatoes and poke them into the dough's surface, I dotted mine all over.
- Bake in the oven at 200c for about 30-40 minutes, until the crust is hard and when you knock against the bottom, it sounds hollow.
- Leave to cool slightly before cutting.
How to eat this glorious bread?
Drizzled with olive oil
Hummus and olives
Toasted with nut butter
Or....Have it my way...
Cut two slices of bread, add a layer of home made rock salt and black pepper chips and a dollop of home made tomato ketchup!
Damn that's tasty!
Happy baking! x