Bread recipes scare me.
Mostly because I see a lot of ‘Do this… let it rise… do this again… let it rise more… sleep for 17.5 hours… do it again…’ and it tests my nerves.
I am also sad that there is seldom ONE bread recipe that is heaven sent. The one template you can rely on. I know of many cake, brownie, cookie recipes that are almost golden as a blueprint and then you freestyle on top, but bread is one of those things that one slight overstep and you’re fucked.
Well I’m here to let you know these mini Soda Breads are tried, tested and amazing.
The basic principle – that meaning everything other than the flavourings – will give you the softest, fudgiest soda buns, allowing you total control over how you flavour them.
You could go nuts with some cinnamon and nutmeg to add gentle, warming whispers or introduce some thyme to give herbal dance. I went full thwack with mustard and lemon, but you could just as easily go with lemon and keep it soft.
And technique wise this is a breeze. We’re literally talking mixing wet into dry. No kneading. No rising. Nothing. Just mixing, balling, cutting and baking.
These particular soda buns are just as good with some cheese and chutney as they are with a lick of salted butter.
Adorn them as you see fit.
Preheat the oven to 220c and line a baking sheet with some parchment.
In a big bowl, combine 250g of plain flour with a teaspoon of celery salt, 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda. Toss these together with a fork.
Add in a teaspoon of mustard powder along with a generous twist of black pepper. Grate in the zest of one lemon and fork everything together.
In a jug, measure up 150g of plain yogurt and crack in an egg and add the juice of the lemon you just grated. Whisk these together.
Pour this into the bowl of dry ingredients and stir everything together.
Once the mixture starts grouping together and it fels dry enough to handle without your fingers getting gunky, gently flour a surface and put the mixture on it.
Push it around a little so that it rolls up some of the flour and begins to stiffen a little.
Once it forms a soft but firm ball, halve it with a knife. Halve the halves. Halve these again. Halve them once more so you have eight even sections.
Using your palms, form these into tight little golf balls and place on the lined baking sheet.
Using a scissors, cut x’s into the tops of the dough, sprinkle over a little flour and bake for 15-20 minutes until they become golden scruffy/rustic looking buns. Leaving on the baking sheet for an hour or so to cool but I wouldn’t blame you for going in while they’re still warm.
You could just enjoy with some butter and salt but I made a quick Artichoke Cream Cheese by blitzing together a few artichoke hearts from a jar with a tablespoon of sour cream and then folding in some cream cheese, salt and pepper.