“Sometimes I think I want to have another baby and so I go bake some bread to mull it over. A 40 min incubation period later and I’m rocking a warm snuggly bundle that isn’t wailing, chewing my nipples or crapping down my leg, but warmly snuggling into my hip as I rock it gently, and you know, I’m over it.”
Today was one of those days, and so I made bread. Based on my Easy Peasy Soda Bread recipe, but made with coconut milk as I’m taking part in Veganuary, and the large TetraPak cartons of coconut milk are £1 in the big orange supermarket at the moment.
I made a half loaf, as I am a one-adult household and I like my bread fresh fresh, but the recipe is easily doubled or tripled for hungrier homes – just turn down the oven to 160C after the first half hour and bake until done – usually another 20-30 mins for a larger loaf. You can test by inserting a skewer or sharp knife through the fattest part of the centre; if it comes away clean, you’re good to go.
Makes one baby loaf for 51p. Prices based at Sainsburys because it’s my nearest supermarket, but similar available at most big stores.
250g plain flour, 9p (Basics, 55p/1.5kg)
1 level tsp (5g) bicarbonate of soda, 2p (85p/180g)
2 tsp lemon juice, 4p (50p/250ml)
180ml coconut milk, 36p (Alpro, £1/500ml)
First preheat your oven to 180C. Then mix your flour and bicarb together in a large mixing bowl to evenly distribute. Soda bread doesn’t take much kneading, so it’s important to evenly scatter the bicarb throughout, else end up with a wonky loaf.
Squeeze or pour the lemon juice into the coconut milk, depending on whether you are using a fresh lemon or the bottled stuff. For what it’s worth, I swear by the bottled stuff for baking and dressings. A well known chef friend of mine sniffily claimed they could ‘always tell’ when bottled lemon juice had been used and as it turned out, no they couldn’t. Pooh to ingredient snobbery, I say.
Make a well (a large hole of sorts) in the middle of your dry ingredients and pour in the coconut milk and lemon juice. Mix firmly but briefly until just combined, then tip onto a floured worktop. Knead for half a minute, no more, just to bring it together. Pat it into shape. Dust a baking sheet with flour and pop it on.
Score it down the middle to let the fairies out and dust the top with any flour from your worktop – waste not, want not, after all. Bake for 40 minutes. Allow to cool slightly, then slice and enjoy.
Jack Monroe. You can follow me on Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr @MxJackMonroe
If you like this then you might like my book (available at Hive, supporting local bookshops: http://www.hive.co.uk/Product/Jack-Monroe/A-Girl-Called-Jack–100-Delicious-Budget-Recipes/15403047) or my Kickstarter for my new book, Cooking On A Bootstrap: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/780456006/cooking-on-a-bootstrap-by-jack-monroe