I very often get several requests for eggless products, especially baked goods. Soda breads are a variety of delicious quick breads that are made using baking soda (aka sodium bicarbonate). So they contain neither eggs nor yeast.
My Indian Soda Bread is a delicately spiced and full of flavor. You can enjoy this treat for breakfast, tea-time or simply as a snack any time of the day. I especially love eating this bread with some lovely homemade jams, preserves or marmalades.
INDIAN SPICED SODA BREAD
2 cups bread flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
3 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cubed
1½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground allspice
½ tsp ground nutmeg
¼ tsp ground cloves
¼ tsp ground cardamom
½ tsp salt, to taste
1 tbsp grated orange zest
2-3 tbsp sugar, to taste
2 cups buttermilk (low-fat is fine)
1 tbsp melted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
¾ cup dried black currants (or raisins), soaked in a little warm water for about 15 minutes
½ cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into pieces
First, preheat the oven to 425 degree F -- making sure your oven rack is placed in the center of the oven.
In a large mixing bowl, sift together the bread flour along with the whole wheat flour, baking soda, baking powder and the spices (ground cinnamon, ground allspice, ground nutmeg, ground cloves, ground cardamom & salt). Next, add in the cold butter cubes and work them into the flour using a fork until you have a coarse crumbly mixture. Now add in the orange zest and sugar. Then slowly add the buttermilk along with 2 tbsp of the melted butter & the well drained black currants. Mix all of the ingredients together until the bread dough comes together and forms a ball.
Next, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and shape into a smooth bread loaf shape. Then make a cross (X) in the top of the dough with a sharp knife -- this allows the bread to bake evenly. Now carefully place the bread loaf on a lightly greased baking sheet and lightly brush the top with the remaining tbsp of melted butter. You could also bake the bread in a lightly greased loaf pan. Next, simply pop the bread into the 450 degree F oven for just 10-12 minutes. Then reduce the oven temperature to 400 degrees F, cover the bread lightly with aluminum foil and continue baking the bread for another 30-35 minutes. You can test for “doneness” by inserting a clean toothpick in the center of the bread loaf, if it comes out clean – you’re all set! Lastly, remove the soda bread from the oven and allow to cool for at least 30 minutes. Then cut the bread into warm slices and serve with butter and your favorite jams and preserves.
Instead of vanilla extract, try adding some rum extract instead. Rum extract is a non-alcoholic product commonly used in baking.