Now I am officially out of holiday mode, I thought I would ease myself back into my blog with something pretty simple and, hopefully tasty. As a result, whether rightly or wrongly I think this is one of the first posts I have done that has been completely free of nerves and scepticism. Although the purpose of my blog is to experiment and push my own baking skills, it is also safe to say that I am perfectly ok with that.
I also have to admit that this post is purely spontaneous. Since I have a pretty busy week, my thought processes basically consisted of what haven’t I made in a while, what’s quick, and, rather than go for another eye brow raising flavour combo, what sounds instantly yummy. I eventually landed on this stilton, roasted garlic and rosemary soda bread and I have absolutely no regrets. While this may not be the most interesting idea I have to offer, I think it’s definitely an improvement on the oreo brownies I made in Japan. After all, I actually have some solid proof and evidence to offer you this time as opposed to a picture of some ingredients. The process of roasting the garlic and making the bread is so simple and the smells that come from the oven are, if I do say so myself, absolutely fantastic. I mean freshly baked bread and garlic are good enough by themselves.
I have made soda bread a few times before for some Georgian picnic baskets at work and I have used a foolproof recipe by James Martin each time (from the BBC, of course). In this instance, however, I merely added the garlic, rosemary and cheese into the flours before adding the mixture of yoghurt and milk, which I used as a substitute for the buttermilk. And that’s basically all there is to it! Being modest as per they looked pretty delicious when they emerged from the oven and, overall, I was pretty happy with them. They were soft and the flavours worked really well together. While you could taste the garlic quite consistently throughout the dough, it did not overpower the overall flavour and was complimented well by the odd pieces of blue cheese scattered throughout. The only criticism I will make is that there could have been a bit more rosemary, but you can always add another sprig or two if you wish. Either way I hope you enjoy!
Stilton, Roasted Garlic and Rosemary Soda Bread Bun (makes 6 small buns)
- 1 bulb of garlic
- 1 sprig of rosemary
- 170g self raising wholemeal flour
- 170g plain flour
- Pinch of salt
- 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 230ml natural yoghurt
- 60ml milk
- Preheat your oven to 140C/ 120C Fan/ 280F.
- Take your bulb of garlic and cut off the end that holds all the cloves together. You want to leave the skins on as this will stop them from crisping up. Place on a small sheet of tin foil and scatter the rosemary leaves over the top. Then add a glug of olive oil and wrap loosely in the tin foil.
- Place on a baking tray and bake for around 2 hours or until the garlic is completely soft. Leave to cool.
- Turn your oven up to 200C/ 180C Fan/ 400F.
- Once cool, squeeze the cloves out of the skins and pop in a pestle and mortar with the rosemary leaves. Muddle together until it forms a smooth paste.
- Mix the flours, salt and bicarb in a separate bowl. Add the garlic paste and crumble in the cheese, then mix again.
- Mix the yoghurt and milk together in a separate jug, then add to the rest of ingredients. You may need to adjust the levels of flour and milk depending on the consistency of your dough.
- Once combined, turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until it comes together.
- Split the dough into 6 equal pieces, reshape and space them out evenly on a lined baking tray. Cut a cross on the top of each and bake for 30-35 minutes. You will know they are cooked when the bottom sounds hollow when tapped. Leave to cool on a wire rack.