I'm a huge fan of meals that can be eaten in bowls. Oatmeal in the mornings? Obviously goes in a bowl. Pasta day with red sauce? Works in a bowl. Healthy brown rice dinner with roasted veggies and chicken? Put it in a bowl. Frozen microwaveable vegetable yakisoba noodles (which are currently my new find from Costco and saving me during exams by the way)? Bowl. I use my small white ones for most of my meals actually. Makes the food look pretty, and pretty food is always easier to eat, right?
And of course, we can't forget about soup! I've eaten soup almost every day this month and last. It's so easy to fit in with the ups and downs of school, and doesn't make me feel too overstuffed so I can keep chugging along rather than stopping for a food coma nap. But even soup needs a buddy to help make it a substantial meal. Like... this bread! We've got exams this week and I knew that kneading dough and waiting for it to rise would be rather time-consuming, so my mind drifted back to an old recipe I had looked at years ago, where the bread only used baking soda and there was no kneading involved. I initially thought I was looking up a recipe for Irish soda bread, but after doing a little searching on the interwebs I realize now that what I was thinking of is actually called Irish brown bread. It's a humble bread with only five ingredients, but it's very hearty and is a great dipper for any soup you want. I also like that it uses whole wheat, which gives it a nutty flavor and makes me feel a little better about eating a second, er, third slice.
Life's calmed down since the fun weekend, with exams starting up yesterday and going through until Friday. There was one bit of exciting news yesterday though, which was that one of my photos (from the blackberry cinnamon cake) was accepted onto Foodgawker! It was a great surprise to boost my spirits. Thanks everyone who has been enjoying the blog and encouraging me to keep on doing it!
Irish brown bread
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups all purpose flour, plus a little more for the table
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cups buttermilk
Preheat oven to 450 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
Whisk the whole wheat flour, all purpose flour, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.
Make a well in the center of the mixture, and pour in the buttermilk.
Using one hand, stir the dough until all the flour is incorporated - it will be a little sticky but bear with me here! It's worth it at the end.
Turn out the dough onto a well floured surface, and clean the dough off your hand.
Pat the dough with your hands until it's lightly coated in flour and has a round shape. Transfer the dough to the baking sheet, and flatten the bread slightly until it's about 2 inches tall if it's too tall (don't press too hard though!). Using a serrated knife, slash an "X" through the top of the dough and poke the dough in each of the four quadrants with the tip of the knife.
Bake the bread for 20 minutes. Then reduce the oven temperature to 400 F and continue to bake the bread until it is brown on top and sounds hollow when tapped (this took me 25 minutes, although the original recipe says 30-35 minutes). Take the loaf out of the oven and transfer it to a wire rack, and let it cool. Enjoy!
And just because this week is all poopy with exams, don't think I don't have something fun planned for Friday! What will my next post be?? Have I piqued your interest?? *cue suspenseful music*