Waking up and eating is a joy. I adore breakfast and can’t imagine a day without it, so it pains me that so many people skip this meal on a regular basis.
While people around the world are making resolutions to restrict their diets, I’d like to suggest you add something to yours. If you don’t eat breakfast every day, why not make the time to do so? It kick starts your metabolism, limits snacking and overeating and is recommended by pretty much every nutritionist out there. It’s so wonderfully satisfying to start the day with a delicious meal, however small, and the perfect opportunity to try a whole host of recipes and flavour combinations.
Fruit and some sort of oats or yoghurt feature regularly on the little loaf breakfast menu and it will come as no surprise that I like to bake my own bread. However I appreciate that yeast is an ingredient that scares many people off and that baking bread is something that usually requires a little forethought. A regular loaf requires several hours between waking and baking with time set aside to knead and prove the dough: not exactly an immediate breakfast solution if you wake up ravenous.
This simple soda bread is the perfect solution. With no yeast, no kneading and no proving time, this lovely loaf can be on the table and ready to eat in around half an hour, twenty minutes of which you can get on with making coffee and picking up a paper as it bakes. Made with only wholemeal flour and a mixture of pumpkin, poppy and sesame seeds to add texture and crunch, this loaf is a truly hearty, wholesome way to start your day.
We ate this loaf last weekend in our pajamas, mine topped with smashed avocado (I’ve mentioned this obsession before), Carnivorous Fiancé’s hidden under bacon, black pudding and a runny yellow-yolked egg (you wonder where he gets his nickname . . .). We then went in for seconds, slicks of salty butter running over the edges of softly dense and crunchy toast. Sometimes you can find happiness is the simplest of things.
After kick-starting 2013 with a drunken plum tart and chocolate-glazed pistachio éclairs, I hope you’ll appreciate the fact that I’ve posted something a little more wholesome here today. As I’ve said before, eating is all about balance and enjoying what you love. Breakfast is what I love: I hope you’ll join me in enjoying it.
Seeded Soda Bread (adapted from my Feta & Thyme Soda Bread)
(makes one small loaf)
300g wholemeal flour
Big pinch sea salt
2 tsp baking powder
75g mixed seeds (I used poppy, pumpkin & sesame)
Preheat the oven to 230 degrees C and place a baking stone or tray in to heat up. Lightly oil a small baking tin.
In a large bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients. Add the buttermilk and using a dough scraper (if you don’t have one, your hands will do), mix together for about two minutes until just combined.
Flour your hands and the work surface, tip out your sticky dough and shape it into a rectangle. Place in the baking tin, seam side down, slash the top then place directly onto your baking stone (or tray).
Bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until the crust is golden and the bottom sounds hollow when you tap it on the bottom. Leave to cool on a wire rack before slicing and eating.