16 January 2011

Seedy Oat Soda Bread and the Twittersphere

This little loaf has been all around cyber space, it really is quite amazing how connected everything can be.  Being reasonably new to the world of food blogging, and as I continue my journey I am always on the look out for tips and guidance on how I can improve and make this little blog better and I came across Dianne Jacob, a bit of a food blog writing guru and author of Will Write for Food, The Complete Guide to Writing Cookbooks, Blogs, Reviews, Memoir, and More...my copy is winging its way to me now.

She also writes a blog and one of the latest posts contained some tips on the do's and dont's for food blogging.  One tip was to be on Twitter.  Now Twitter and I had a brief fling some time ago, but it just wasn't for me, so it was with some reluctance that I took the advice and signed up again. This time as ToastNZ and for the most part limited it to the food-sphere.  A few weeks in and I am totally addicted and it was indeed good advice as it allows you to communicate with so many like minded people.  

Whether it be finding more kiwi food bloggers (Curious Kai, Hungry and Frozen),Arfi Bee, Mrs CakeNZ) or engaging with food bloggers at the top of their game (Jennifer Perillo,The Wednesday Chef) , or reading all the tweets from Food Blog Camp with envy, or seeing pics of what Rick Bayless ate at Noma and the Fat Duck (see there are more people out there that take photos of food even in the best restaurants in the world!), or making new cyber friends, Gourmet Worrier.  It has just been a great experience and invaluable for keeping up to date with the wonderful world of food blogging and connecting with other food obsessives and having more people read and connect with Toast. Toast even got a mention on Running With Tweezers this week,all thanks to Twitter and Tami at Running with Tweezers being snowed in in Atlanta.

Back to the Oat Soda Bread, it was posted by Jennifer, adapted from 101 Cookbooks, and found its way back to 101 Cookbooks to be adapted from Jennifer's recipe and now it has found it's way to Toast to be adapted by me. I love seeds so added a mixture of what I had in the pantry but feel free to add in whatever seeds you like, I also like caraway but none to hand so added a few fennel seeds instead which gave a little sweetness.

Seedy Oat Soda Bread Recipe, adapted from 101 Cookbooks, adapted from In Jennie's Kitchen, adapted from 101 Cookbooks


Makes 1 loaf

Butter or oil, to grease loaf tin, I did a quick spray of oil, I just find it easier
2 cups/200g/7oz rolled oats (or oat flour if you happen to have)
~2 1/4 cups/285g/10oz  all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting and kneading
2 tsp baking soda
1 1/4 tsp fine-grain sea salt
1 tbsp sunflower seeds
1 tbsp pumpkin seeds
1 tsp sesame seeds
1 tsp poppy seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 3/4 cups / 415 ml buttermilk, plus more if needed, and a little for brushing the loaf.
2-3 tbsp mixed seeds - sunflower, pumpkin, sesame, poppy

Preheat the oven to 400°F / 205°C with a rack in the middle of the oven. Butter or spray, and line a loaf tin with baking paper and set aside while you get on with the bread. You can also bake this bread without a loaf tin, just shape it in to a round loaf, on a lightly floured baking sheet.

To make the oat flour, just place oats in a food processor and whizz until you have a fine powder.  Yes it's that easy.
Sift the flours, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. Add the buttermilk and stir, just until everything comes together into a dough. Don't overwork the dough. 

Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for only 30 seconds or so, you want to knead the dough just long enough for it all to come together into, again you don't want to over work it. You should end up with a slightly flattened ball without many cracks or fissures. If the dough is a little on the dry side, add a little more buttermilk, just use a small splash at a time as you don't want to make it too wet. Carefully pop the dough in to the loaf tin.

Brush buttermilk all over the top and sides and sprinkle with the mixed seeds. Slice a few deep slashes across the top of the dough to help it rise evenly. Bake for around 30 minutes.  Then move the loaf up a level in the oven to get a nice toasty crust.  Just try and do it quickly to stop all the heat escaping from the oven. Bake for another 20 minutes, or until a hard crust forms and the bread is baked through. You can do the knock test, it should sound hollow. Remove the loaf from the tin and let it cool for as long as you can before slicing and slathering with butter. 

Cautionary word here, the only problem will be not to consume the whole loaf as really, there is not much better than homemade bread and butter.

I did manage to save some for today's BBQ and will be having some topped with a little cream cheese, smoked salmon, capers and just a little lemon zest which just gives it that little extra zing.



  1. Looks fab! And another use for buttermilk, hooray:)

  2. That looks so delicious, I love seedy breads! Must bookmark and give this a go some time :-)

  3. The bread is just perfect for smoked salmon!


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