My lazy soda bread (from Posadas in the province of Cordova, Andalusia)

Hi folks!

After having realised that I was out of bread and that today is a national holiday in Spain (and not wanting to drive the 9 km down to Posadas village), I decided to make my own. But not wanting the hassle of making it with yeast and all the time that this involves, I thought I’d make my own soda version.

And this is how it turned out:

Sprinkled with coarse salt and drizzled with olive oil

It’s both delicious and nutritious because I have used spelt flour, oats and a handful of nuts, seeds and raisins. Here is the recipe for this variety — (I say ‘this variety’ because every time I make it, I vary it slightly according to what I feel like and what ingredients I have in the pantry. Sometimes I use wholemeal flour as well as spelt, and on other occasions, cumin seeds and lovage, as well as a pinch of matcha powder. Or I add dried thyme and oregano… it’s fun experimenting.)

This time I used:

225g wholemeal and spelt flour, mixed

225g plain flour

1 tsp coarse salt

1 tsp molasses or honey

Handful of oats

Handful of sunflower seeds, chia, linseed and raisins (vary according to your taste)

Pinch of dried oregano, thyme and a little lovage

200 ml milk or buttermilk or soya milk…

200g natural yoghurt

Drizzle of olive oil.

First I stirred all the dry ingredients together then added in the molasses, followed by the yoghurt, milk and a drizzle of olive oil. I carefully drew it all together, kneading very lightly to make a soft, moist ball. I transferred this onto a floured baking tray, keeping a round shape. I then made a light cross on the top with a knife, gently made indentations in the dough with my knuckles (which made the bread less rounded) and sprinkled the top with the coarse salt and drizzled oil on top. I cooked the bread for 35 minutes in the oven (I didn’t use the fan) at 200 °C, until the skewer came out dry when I tested it — (cooking time might vary according to your flour mix and how moist or dry your dough was to begin with and also how deep the bread is.)

When it was cooked, I stood it on a rack to cool. Then after about five minutes, I couldn’t resist delving in!

It is quite a dense, hearty bread — a meal in itself

It is delicious with butter (which I have) and jam (which I don’t have, but I will be making some purple plum jam now that they in season here. I use the same amount of sugar to fruit, or slightly less if I am feeling sugar-conscious — and there’s no need for lemon juice or pectin since the plums have enough of their own pectic acid.)

And now I shall go and have some more bread, butter and jam in front of Agatha Christie’s Five Little Pigs, which stars one of my favourite actors playing the part of Poirot — David Suchard. (When I lived in Sheen, in Greater London, I often came across him in Waitrose, pushing the shopping trolley alongside his wife. He is the same polite, prim character that he portrays in the series.)

Here is the youtube link to the HD film in case you fancy watching it:

Now I don’t usually lounge around watching TV in the afternoons, but I will today for the following three reasons: 1) to recover from the efforts of cooking and having strained my sciatic nerve after lunging forward in my bed at 4:30 in the morning, trying to find my bedcover because temperatures have cooled off at night; 2) because although I usually Skype my mother at this time (great at closing the gaps, especially now in times of this awful virus), I won’t be skyping today, because she is trying to scare away the mice that she discovered have been steadily working their way through her back-up supplies of olive oil, juice, milk, soap, sponges, toilet rolls etc. that she keeps in the shed; and lastly 3) because it is a national holiday here in Spain, being the Assumption of Our Lady.

Today is an important religious day here in Spain, the Assumption of Our Lady, but unfortunately there will be no processions in the streets this year because of the virus.

So for now, I think I’ll take a leaf out of my cat’s book (this time it’s Ginger) before tucking in! Cheers!

Hope this finds you all in good health and spirits. Take care!

PS. And as usual, any comments or questions always welcome!

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