Reaching the final of Masterchef 2007 was a rollercoaster of emotion, with huge highs and lows, but I loved every minute and learnt a huge amount. I owe a great deal to John and Gregg who had faith in my ability when I did not believe in myself. Since competing on the programme my life has changed considerably. I now write cookery columns for two magazines, give cookery demonstrations and am just working on my 13th cook book - unlucky number for some but not for me!!! I love all forms of country cooking, using seasonal and locally sourced produce. This blog is to enable me to share with you a few of my recipes and baking ideas. Enjoy Hannah xxxx

Monday, 3 March 2008

Soda bread is one of the easiest breads to make as it does not need to be proved. It is one of my favourite breads to serve with soups.

Poppy Seed Soda Bread

350g/12oz strong wholemeal flour
200g/9oz strong plain flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
500g/17½oz buttermilk
3 tbsp poppy seeds
Wholemeal flour for dusting

Preheat your oven to 200 C/400 F/Gas Mark 6. Lightly brush a baking tray with olive oil. Place the flours in a large bowl, together with the bicarbonate of soda and the salt. Add the buttermilk and poppy seeds and mix to form a soft dough – if it is too sticky add a little more flour but don’t over work the dough – as there is no yeast you need to keep it as light as possible. Form the dough into a ball and place on the tray. Cut a cross in the top of the loaf with a sharp knife, dust with a little flour and bake in the oven (Aga Roasting oven) for 25 minutes until the bread is golden brown and makes a hollow sound when tapped. The bread is best eaten on the day you make it but can be reheated in the oven the following day for 5 minutes.

ps - French recipes will follow soon, I have been in bed with the flu since my last post and am finally feeling a bit better today!


Rita said...

Thanks for the recipe Hannah! Sorry you were not well. Recover fully. Will try this bread later this week!

catofstripes said...

Hope you're feeling better 'cos you've certainly got a temperature. :) Too many zeroes in your oven settings!

Looking forward to hearing about France!

Vida said...

Hannah, all I see are those BEAUTIFUL blue eggs!!!!! How wonderful... I am BLUE with envy!! Vida x

Marie said...

So sorry to hear you haven't been well Hannah! Hope you are feeling better soon! Beautiful eggs and holder. Nice recipe too! I love soda bread!

Anonymous said...


I love you blog......

Is wholemeal flour the same as wholewheat flour that we use in the U.S.


Gloria said...

These cookies looks so fantastic Hannah, how ever. xx Gloria