I realise I only shared a soda bread recipe a few short weeks ago BUT this bread was so incredibly tasty that it just felt plain rude to keep it to myself. I won’t ramble on again about how much I love soda bread but instead I will just recommend you try making it, maybe this recipe or any other one you will find. It is the EASIEST bread you can make and uses the most basic of store cupboard staple items. It doesn’t stay fresh for very long so it’s best eaten the day you make it – which is handy as when it is warm and smothered in salted butter you will find it hard to stop. It is still good for toast the following day.
One of my favourite things about this recipe is the slow caramelisation of the onions..I love the sweet and buttery smell of onions frying away ever so softly. They really enhance the flavour of the bread and it is such a pleasant burst of sweetness when you find some in your slice of bread. The cheddar isn’t overpowering, in fact I would even say that if I hadn’t known it was in it then I wouldn’t have picked up on the cheese flavour. What it does do is balance out the onion flavour and gives the bread a little depth and saltiness.
Caramelised Red Onion & Cheddar Soda Bread
You will need:
1/2 small red onion sliced diced
1 tbsp of rapeseed oil
75g mature cheddar, grated
400g self raising flour
250ml buttermilk ( I use semi skimmed or whole milk with 1.5tbsp of lemon juice, set aside for a few minutes )
1.5 tsp bicarbonate of soda
Preheat your oven to 180c. Heat a frying pan over a low to medium heat, add your butter and oil, wait until melted together and add your onions. Fry slowly, stirring occasionally until they are soft, sweet and almost translucent. Set aside to cool.
Add your flour and bicarb to a large bowl and mix well to combine, add your cheese and onions and mix again. Now slowly add your buttermilk and stir to form a dough, the dough should feel sticky. You will more than likely need the full 250ml but use your hands to judge the texture. Turn onto a floured surface and knead very lightly to form an oval or round shape. Place on a baking tray or in a loaf tray/cast iron pan. Using a knife score a cross into the dough going almost all the way through but not quite. Sprinkle with flour and bake for 35- 40 mins. The bottom should feel hollow when tapped.
Spread with butter and serve with chunks of cheese and chutney. It is also a great accompaniment to stews and soups.
Let me know if you try it, I would love to know what you think.