Lately, I've been yearning for that joyful feeling of seeing something really small grow into something really big. I've been thinking about it for days and I know it takes a lot of work, but frankly...yeast scares me.
Every time I've tried to use yeast, my bread-to-be product has never risen. Alton Brown's Good Eats episode on yeast further discouraged me when he goes on about how complicated it can be to start up your yeast, make sure its alive etc etc. I desperately want to make real bread but have mostly settled with quick breads (bread-like items which don't use yeast ie, banana "breads" and other things in loaf pans).
Can't I get that amazing feeling of risen dough without using yeast? My world for a bread experiment that doesn't involve yeast. That was when I learned that Irish Soda Bread doesn't use yeast. BAM. Super satisfying feels of seeing dough come out as bread that's multiples of its baby dough size. Eaten with butter, this is something David devours too easily.
This bread only takes 5 ingredients, no kneading (not really) and no yeast!
4 cups flour
4 cups flour
1 tbs sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 cups buttermilk (I didn't have this and used a mix of 3/4 plain yogurt with 1/4 cup almond milk x2. you can also just use water)
Optional:1 tbs caraway
1 tbs raisins
1. Preheat oven to 425F.
2. Combine dry ingredients in bowl.
3. Make a well in your dry ingredients, pour in buttermilk.
4. Fold flour into milk to form soft dough.
5. Turn out onto a surface and lightly knead (for like 10 secs. This isn't a bread that can take much kneading).
6. Score top of bread with an X (INTEGRAL. This allows the steam from the bread to escape as it rises).
7. Bake for 35 mins.
This bread goes great with stews or just some salted butter. I didn't know that you could make such an nice dinner companion so easily. I was so encouraged by making this bread that I am reinvigorated to consider yeast breads. I was going to make some challah but I used up a bunch of flour making the soda bread so I'm just going to have to save my yeast-bread adventure for another day.