Would you believe me that I totally forgot that it is St Patricks day and that this bread was in no way inspired by that? Well it's true. What inspired this soda bread was the Great British Bake Off which I am currently watching over again. (yes, over again but it is just such a good show and makes me feel like I can bake anything.)
I make fresh bread just about every day, but I mostly use my sourdough culture or if I am running low on time, yeast, but I never think about making a loaf of a savory quick bread. When I think quick bread or soda bread, my mind goes to bananas or berries, or anything sweet. After seeing all the contestants making all sorts of crazy stuffed and flavored savory breads I was all like, "why don't I ever do that?" So I did, all high on inspiration (every time I watch the show I feel the need to bake). I basically opened the spice drawer and grabbed a jar which was fennel, then figured lemon is a fine right pair so lemon fennel it was to be and yeah. I wanted to go a little more crazy (like they did on the show) and add a ribbon or pesto or chunks of some veggies or beans or whatever but this was good for the moment and good it was indeed.
And the smell of this bread.... The hole house filled up with the scent that I could only describe as amazingly lovely. It made me think of gardens full of spring flower blooms, a clothes line full of sun bleach white linen, or the feeling of soft warn dirt under your feet for the first time after a long winter. I swear I am not high. It just smelled so very good.
After it was baked and cooled, but still slightly warm I cut into it and gave the mr a piece. The first piece the mr liked, the second he ate with mozzarella cheese which did not go well with him, but after that found that he really likes it with peanut butter, or plan, with a bit of butter. What that means is that you should just make it and eat it however you suits you because a quick savory bread is always a good choice when a choice is needed. And your house will smell amazing too.
The stuff. White and wheat flours, baking soda and baking powder, salt, fennel, soy milk, lemons, honey, and oil.
All the dry, the fennel and the lemon zest into big bowl.
Lemon juice, oil, and Haney got mixed together with the milk. Let this mixture sit for about 5 minutes so the lemon sours the milk a bit.
Wet into dry and mix around with a fork until combined. Dump onto a floured surface and form a ball.
Take the dough and place it on a lightly floured baking sheet then take a knife or dough scraper and give the dough a big deep X. Get about half an to an inch deep.
And Ito the oven it goes.
Just a mere 4o minutes later you have a crisp and golden loaf that smells like springtime and loveliness.
Give it a little time to cool down but grab a slice when it's still a bit warm and eat it up. If you have butter to jam or honey on hand, it's not necessary but welcomed.
Lemon Fennel Soda Bread
Makes 1 loaf
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
- 2 tablespoons fennel seeds
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 cup soy milk
- 2 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoon honey or maple syrup
Preheat oven to 375
In a large bowl mix together the flours, baking soda and powder, salt, fennel, and the lemon zest. In a separate bowl or jar, mix together the milk, lemon juice, honey or maple, and oil. Let sit for 3-5 minutes so the milk gets a chance to lightly sour.
Dump wet mixture into dry and mix around until incorporated. Dump dough onto a floured surface and form a ball then place dough onto a lightly flour baking sheet and either with a knife or dough scrapper, score the top with a x about an inch deep. Place into oven and bake for 40-45 minutes or until a nice deep golden brown and a tater stuck into the loaf comes out clean.
Remove from oven and let cool on a rack.
Cut into it while it's a tad but warm and serve naked or with butter and honey or whatever you want.
Bread keeps for 2-3 days or is good to be frozen sliced up.