The easiest bread you’ll ever make
Life in the trenches of homeschool and work is somewhat crazy but, in between episodes of wanting to throw the laptop at the wall, we are surviving.
Fortunately, school seems to be done by early afternoon and then we all take a break from technology.
Chloe has assignments she has to work on later, but we've found other pressing assignments too … such as get outside, unload the dishwasher and bake!
The baking has been a fun and a good lesson for me in letting go.
I have an immensely hard time standing back and watching as they learn how to stir without ingredients flying out of the bowl.
There comes a point where you just have to let them get their own feel for sieving and stirring and measuring — and it's just going to be messy. (You can quietly weep into a glass of wine while they get the hang of it.)
If you're letting your children get involved in the kitchen (and I appreciate for your own sanity, that you might not be) then picking super simple recipes is helpful.
Most of the recipes I have are gluten and dairy-free and, while they're great, they do tend to be a lot more complicated.
I also found that I was making a lot of sweet stuff too, which isn't brilliant from a nutrition perspective. So this week's agenda was to get back to basics — and go simple and savoury.
Lots of people find that avoiding wheat or gluten is helpful for relieving bloating and other symptoms of digestive imbalance.
However, if you don't have an issue with wheat (or gluten), then an occasional homemade loaf is really rewarding and makes your house smell amazing.
I don't have a bread maker or the patience to wait for dough to rise, so we went with an Irish soda bread recipe this week and it was honestly one of the simplest things I have ever done.
We chose wholewheat flour (OK, I chose it) to make this healthier — increasing the mineral and fibre content.
Soda bread is best eaten within 24 hours. It's preservative-free and so hardens quickly.
You can always warm it in the microwave to soften it or, if you have leftovers, you can toast them into croutons for a salad.
As we're trying to do less of the sweet stuff, we had this with soup and hummus.
It is also amazing with jam — and if you'd like to make that a little healthier, try the Dalfour fruit-only jam available at most grocery stores (including Miles).
Ok, so give this one a try. It's pretty impossible to get it wrong.
Next week, I'll try and find the most simple recipe for a gluten-free version.
IRISH SODA BREAD
1 tsp light olive oil
4 cups whole wheat flour
1½ tsps baking soda
1 tsp sea salt
2 tbs cold butter
2 cups buttermilk (or 2 cups regular milk mixed with 2 tbs lemon juice or vinegar)
Preheat the oven to 400F. Grease a baking sheet. In a large bowl, whisk the whole wheat flour, baking soda and sea salt. Rub the butter into the flour until the crumbs are pretty fine.
Make a well in the centre of the flour/butter crumbs and add the buttermilk. Stir with a spoon and then bring the dough together with your hands. It will feel sticky and heavy — that's fine!
Make a ball out of the dough and then press the top down slightly. Score the top with an X about one inch deep and then place on the baking sheet. If you have some flaky sea salt, sprinkle this on top.
Bake for 45-55 minutes, or until the loaf sounds hollow when you knock on the bottom of it.
Let it cool for ten minutes before cutting or tearing. Best eaten within 24 hours, but after that you can heat it a microwave to soften or toast the leftovers for croutons.
• Catherine Burns is a qualified nutritional therapist. For more details: www.natural.bm, 505-4725, Natural Nutrition Bermuda on Facebook and @naturalbda on Instagram