Pesto soda bread

A magical bread that requires no kneading or extra effort. The acid in the buttermilk reacts with the bicarbonate of soda, which allows the bread to rise and leave you with a crispy crust and tender interior.

Preparation time : 35 mins Cooking time : 35 mins Servings : Makes 1 loaf
Ingredients
  • For the bread:
  • 3 cup cake flour + extra
  • 5 ml salt
  • 5 ml bicarbonate of soda
  • 375 ml buttermilk
  • 45 ml basil pesto + extra
  • For the salsa:
  • 500 ml cocktail tomatoes - halved
  • 240 g buffalo Mozarella - diced
  • 20 ml olive oil
  • 20 ml balsamic vinegar
  • 60 ml basil leaves - torn
  • crème fraiche, to serve
Method

For the bread, preheat the oven to 200°C and line a baking tray with baking paper. 


Combine the flour, salt and bicarbonate of soda in a large mixing bowl. 


Whisk the buttermilk and pesto together. 


Combine the two mixtures and use a palette knife or butter knife to cut the wet mixture into the dry mixture until a dough is formed. 


Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and form it into a ball. 


Place it on the lined tray and flatten the top slightly with the palm of your hand. 


Cut a deep cross over the top of the dough but do not cut all the way through to the base of the dough. 


Sprinkle it with some flour and bake, 30-35 mins until the top is golden and the base sounds hollow when tapped on. 


Allow it to cool on the tray for 5 mins before transferring to a cooling rack. 


For the salsa, stir everything together and season it to taste. 


Serve the bread with dollops of crème fraiche, more pesto and topped with the salsa. 


TIP: Replace the basil pesto with your preferred pesto flavour such as sundried tomato or rocket for a different flavoured bread. 


ALSO TRY: 

Wholemeal Irish soda bread

With walnuts and oats and served with ruby-red Muscadel grape preserve. A yeast-free bread, with no proving so it's quick and easy to make.