Oats and Honey Soda Bread with Raisins

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There's something wonderful about bread. The process is relaxing. The smell is soothing. The result is delicious.

I've been wanting to make some bread for quite a while. Since I had some buttermilk from the Lemon Buttermilk Sheet Cake, I decided to make this oat and honey soda bread with a recipe from bakingbites.com.

Oats and Honey Soda Bread with Raisins

Making bread is easy. No fancy machines needed here. Making a soda bread is even easier: No yeast activation, and no waiting for dough to rise. Just a little mixing and a little kneading.

Soda breads are called that because they use baking soda for leavening. Leavening creates the bubbles and pockets that makes the bread rise. For the chemists in the room: Baking soda is a base. When it reacts with an acid, carbon-dioxide is released, forming bubbles.

So, for a soda bread to rise, we need an acid like the acid found in buttermilk. If you don't have buttermilk, you can substitute whole milk and some vinegar or lemon juice.

Part of what makes bread so wonderful is how versatile it is. Sweet breads, savory breads, beer bread, onion bread, breads with different cereals, cheese bread, nut breads, veggie breads, fruit breads, and more!

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup quick oats
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup raisins

Instructions

Preheat oven to 400°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, stir together the dry ingredients: Flour, oats, baking soda, and salt. Next, add the honey and buttermilk, and stir until dough forms a ball. Dough should be only slightly sticky, so add more flour if it's too sticky, or more buttermilk if it's too dry.

Add the raisins and knead the dough for a couple minutes. Place on baking sheet, and flatten a little so it's 1" to 1-1/2" thick.

Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Images

The ingredients

Not a lot of ingredients here, which is good. Preheat the oven to 400°.

Baking sheet with parchment paper

Prepare a baking sheet with a bit of parchment paper. Parchment paper will help the bread to not stick. Lay it so the curl is facing down, so it doesn't curl up on you.

Start by adding the flour to a large bowl.

Flour in a mixing bowl

Next the oats.

Adding oats to the flour

And then the baking soda and salt.

Adding soda and salt

Make sure to mix the dry ingredients well before adding the wet ingredients, starting with the honey.

Adding honey

I also added 1/2 tsp Cinnamon, but it wasn't very noticable. Subtle. I might add a bit more next time, or something more aromatic like nutmeg or cloves.

Measuring the buttermilk

Finally, add the milk.

Adding the buttermilk

Then stir to combine into a ball.

Stirred ingredients into a ball

In this stage, you can adjust the dough. It should be only slightly sticky, but not dry. I had to add some flour to mine, and I ended up using closer to 2 c flour.

Once the dough is how you want, add the raisins.

Adding the raisins

The raisins will get combined as you knead.

Raisins combined

Knead the dough in the bowl for a couple minutes to start the glutens forming.

Dough ball kneaded

Then, dump the dough on to the pan.

Dough ball on the baking sheet

To bake evenly, you want to spread the dough out a bit, so that it's only about 1" to 1-1/2" thick.

Dough ball flattened on the baking sheet Close up of flattened dough ball

Then, pop it in the oven for 30-35 minutes.

Browned bread in the oven

After 30 minutes, it was a little darker than I wanted. You might want to start checking it at 25 minutes.

Done bread sitting on the baking sheet

Cool it on a wire rack for at least 20 minutes before slicing.

Bread cooling on a wire rack Sliced bread showing the crumb

I could definitely taste the honey flavor. It goes well with butter, and it's not too sweet, which I like.

For my first time, this turned out really well. I'm looking forward to trying a lot more breads in the future!

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