Tomato Feta Soda Bread
An Easy Yeast-Free Bread That Freezes Well!
The first time I had soda bread was back in college when I drove by this tiny Irish Bakery in the Outer Richmond of San Franicso and was drawn into making a u-turn by the goodies in the window! To me its a cross between a quick bread and a scone/biscuit texture and couldn't be easier to bring together when we need something fresh baked and hearty.
This recipe is my spin on the oldie but goody. By adding in tomato powder and smoked paprika it gets a wonderful fragrant flavor enhanced by the dotted bites of salty feta cheese.
The best part to me about this bread (other than its high content of wheat flour) is that it freezes beautifully! I make a bunch of it, cut it into wedges, and freeze them. When I want a chunk, I pull out a piece, thaw it in the fridge, and re-warm it a bit in the oven before slathering it with Kerrygold butter!
Tomato Feta Soda Bread
Makes 1 Large or 2 small -Each 8-10 servings
3 cups +2 tbsp (360g) All purpose flour
1 cup (140g) whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried oregano (Greek preferably)
3 tbsp tomato powder*
3/4 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp black pepper
4 tbsp (2 oz) unsalted Irish butter, cubed
1- 4 oz package crumbled feta
1 pint (2 cups) buttermilk (I prefer to use low fat)
*See Note below about where to purchase tomato powder
Preheat oven to 400° and line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, combine flours, and next 6 ingredients through the black pepper with a whisk.
Cut in the cubed butter with a pastry cutter or 2 knives.
Dump in all the feta and stir to disperse.
Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in all the buttermilk. Begin to pull together the dough either by hand using a clawing motion (see video below), or by using a spatula to slowly bring the dry ingredients into the wet by sweeping the side of the bowl then using the end of your spatula to sort of stab the center a few times, then rotating the bowl and repeating. Eventually you'll need to flour your hands lightly and finish bringing the dough together so there isn't a pile of dry flour in the bottom of the bowl.
Lightly flour a clean counter top or silipat and bring the dough ball from your bowl over to it. At this point you can divide it into half or keep it as one. Form each portion (1 large or 2 smaller) into a round ball. Flip over so the top side is now floured. Gently tuck the sides under, rotating and repeating until you have a nice ball.
Move the ball over to the parchment lined sheet pan. Flour your fingers and pat the balls down to a 1.5" disc. Then using a floured knife slice a 1" deep cross-mark into each. (See pics below.) Then using the point of your knife pierce a hole in each of the four sections. (This lets the steam out as it bakes.)
Bake until the center temp reaches 200° on a thermoeter: 2-small for 30-35mins / 1-large for 38-42 mins.
*If you are looking for tomato powder, you can buy it at some Whole Foods Locations but always online.