I Love bread, correction, I love fresh baked bread. When I came across this recipe I knew it was going to be a keeper, it meant we could have a piping hot rustic loaf out of the oven and cooling on the counter in just around an hour (start to finish)-and we did! So what makes this recipe perfect you ask? Well, it's only five ingredients and it doesn't call for yeast, which means no rising time. It's literally throw the ingredients in a bowl, combine and bake-who wouldn't think that's perfect? The recipe is from the blog Our Best Bites and although it's technically Irish Soda Bread, I like that they went with calling it Rustic Bread, it fits the finished product perfectly. You can find the recipe below and once you take a look you'll see what I mean, the kids and I took a little time this past week to bake a loaf and it was a huge cinch and a hit.
Rustic Bread | Ingredients
3 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
1 Tsp sugar
1 Tsp baking soda
1 Tsp salt
1 1/2-2 cups buttermilk
Preheat the oven to 450 F. Start by placing flour, sugar, baking soda and salt in a large bowl and whisk together to combine. Make a well in the centre and pour nearly all of the buttermilk into it, leaving about 1/4 cup out. Using a fork or your hand (fingers like a claw), combine the flour mixture and milk together (add more of the buttermilk as necessary). Do not knead the bread as it will make it more dense and heavy. The dough should ideally be soft but not too wet or sticky.
When the dough is formed, turn it out onto a floured surface ( I like to cover an area on our kitchen island with saran wrap and then flour it and work on that-less messy cleanup) and bring it together a bit more. Pat the dough into a round shape about 1 1/2 inches thick and cut a deep cross in the top of it. Place it on a baking sheet ( I lined mine with parchment paper) and dust the top with flour.
Bake for 15 minutes. Then turn the oven down to 400 F and bake for 20-30 minutes more (I found my baking time to be closer to 35-40 minutes). When done the loaf should be golden in colour and sound hollow when tapped on the under side. It's also noted in the recipe that another way to check if the loaf is done is to use a thermometer. Bake the loaf until the internal temperature reaches 195-200 F.
It's delicious with butter as a side to a meal or with jam as a breakfast.