Courgette, cheese & chilli soda bread

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Perfect for using up some of the homegrown courgettes, this very speedy soda bread is made and ready to serve within about 45 minutes.

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Soda bread is very quick to make; it is literally a matter of mixing the ingredients together, plonking the dough onto a tray and baking in a hot oven. Yes, you can do so with more finesse but the mixing, plonking and baking approach works very well in this case!

I make this particular soda bread a lot in the summer and autumn months, using courgettes and then later some of the marrows. And I always have a few chilli plants amid the crops to raid.

Sliced or torn into pieces, this soda bread is perfect served slathered with salted butter. But it must then be eaten without any guilt!

Recipe: courgette, Cheddar & chilli soda bread – makes 1 large one or 2 smaller ones

  • 450g self-raising flour
  • 2 small courgettes (about 400g)
  • 2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt
  • 80-100g mature Cheddar, chopped into small chunks
  • 1-2 chillies of choice, finely chopped (de-seeded if you prefer)
  • 1 medium red onion, peeled and chopped small
  • 300-330ml buttermilk (or natural yoghurt)
To sprinkle over:
  • a little self-raising flour
  • about 40g mature Cheddar, grated

(1) Preheat the oven to 200C (fan) and place a sheet of greaseproof onto a solid baking sheet.

(2) Grate the courgettes and tip them onto a clean tea towel or cloth. Wrap up into a tight bundle, squeezing to get rid of as much of the water that comes out as you can.

(3) Sift the flour, salt and bicarbonate of soda into a large mixing bowl. Add the Cheddar, chilli and onion and stir well to distribute them evenly.

(4) Add most of the buttermilk and using a round-bladed knife, mix to bring it all together to give a soft and slightly sticky dough.

(5) Turn onto a lightly floured work surface and shape into one large ball or spilit into two pieces and shape into two smaller balls. Place onto the baking sheet and dust lightly with flour. Use a very sharp knife to make a deep cut, almost to the base.

(6) Sprinkle over the grated cheddar and bake for 20-25 minutes for smaller soda bread or 35-40 minutes for a larger soda bread.

Author: Philip

Finalist on Britain’s Best Home Cook (BBC Television 2018). Published recipe writer with a love of growing fruit & veg, cooking & eating.

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