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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Six-Seed Soda Bread

I promised you a bread recipe after visiting Zingerman's Bakehouse in Ann Arbor last weekend, but I also wanted to continue with my project of cooking through the recipes I received for my bridal shower. Fortunately, several friends provided me with some great ideas to assuage my carb cravings. I've been wanting to make this soda bread recipe from my college friend Lesley for some time now. She brought some with her during a visit, and it was so hearty and comforting. Lesley has been a wonderful, constant friend through the years. I admire her faith and was honored to have her as a bridesmaid at my wedding. Seems we also enjoy the same food blogs as she found this recipe on 101 Cookbooks!

Half the battle with this recipe is finding the ingredients. I stopped by the local Whole Foods after work and stared at the bulk bins section for far too long trying to decide which type of flax seed to buy. Sorry busy Arlington shoppers - I'm new at this! I easily spotted the spelt flour and then learned more about it on the Baking Bites blog here.

Like most soda breads, the recipe is not hard to follow. Mix the seeds together and set aside. So colorful!

Sift the flours soda, and salt. I love this sifter, by the way - works like a dream.

Mix in the seeds (except for two tablespoons) and then make a well in the center of the flour. Pour in the buttermilk.

Mix it together until the dough starts coming together.

Then, turn onto a floured surface and knead lightly until you can form the dough into a ball. It only takes about a minute.

Make a "X" in the dough and then brush with buttermilk and top with the remaining seeds. Then, it's ready to throw it in the oven for 35 minutes or so.

For my Michigan friends, I found the bread reminiscent of Zingerman's Detroit Street bagel that is loaded with fennel, poppy, and sesame seeds for a unique flavor. The soda bread is wonderful with apricot jam. Lesley gave me some homemade spiced apple chutney which was also delicious for a hearty fall breakfast.

Six-Seed Soda Bread
From Lesley and 101 Cookbooks
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons each of flax seed, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, poppy seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 3/4 cup spelt flour (or whole wheat flour)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 3/4 cup buttermilk, plus some to brush on top of the loaf.

Preheat over to 400 degrees. Combine all seeds in a bowl and set aside.

Sift together flours, soda and salt. Stir in all but 2 tablespoons of the seed mixture.

Make a well in the flour mixture and add the buttermilk. Stir just until the dough comes together. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead about 1 minute, just to pull it together into a ball.

Put on a lightly floured pan; mark with an "X," cutting deeply with a knife.

Brush with buttermilk and sprinkle with remaining seeds, making sure to get the seeds down in the cracks.

Bake 35-45 minutes or until golden brown crusted on top and bottom.

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