This is my eldest niece’s favourite bread, especially when topped with smoked salmon, or when in Cardigan, smoked sewin for an extra special treat. It is a very easy recipe using cup measurements. The size of cup I use is a standard teacup, which equates to 200ml. It is perfect party food, if you cut the soda bread into small squares and top with smoked salmon; ideal with your favourite glass of fizz.
3 cups of wholemeal flour or seed and herb blend flour from Y Felin, St Dogmaels
1 cup of rolled oats
2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp salt
450ml natural yoghurt
Turn the oven to 200’C
Combine the flour, oats, bicarb and salt
Add the yoghurt and mix together to form a sticky mixture
Place in a lined 2lb baking tin, or shape into a free form round shape
Bake for 30-40 minutes until cooked.
To check if the loaf is thoroughly cooked you can insert a skewer, as for cake testing. However, most bread bakers use the time honoured method of the thump test. To do this, remove the loaf from the tin or baking sheet, turn upside down and tap on the base. It will sound like tapping on a hollow tree if the loaf is cooked through. It’s hard to explain but after a number of times, you get to know.
Best eaten the day it is made, it is quick and delicious. It is important to use good quality flour as this makes all the difference. We like to buy ours when on holiday from the mill in St Dogmael’s, but Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Seeded Flour is also good.
When getting together for a family party, there was no room at the inn for me and my husband, and Chester the dog. A google search for “boutique, dog friendly B&B, Cardigan” found us the newly opened Oriel Milgi http://www.orielmilgi.co.uk/ in the tiny village of St Dogmaels. Home of the ruined St Dogmaels Abbey, the village has one of the last working water mills in Wales, Y Felin Mill which produces fabulous bread and flours. http://yfelin.co.uk/
I always stop by and pick up some of their wholemeal rolls to fill with local crab bought from Mandy, the local fisherman’s wife, who is two doors down from Oriel Migli. I use their wholemeal flour to make soda bread, but you can buy a handy soda bread mix, which is ideal for holiday cooking.
Since St Dogmaels is near to the popular Poppit Sands, we were able to get up early and walk the dog on the beach to work up an appetite before returning to Oriel Milgi for one of their special cooked, and locally-sourced breakfasts. When we were there their daily special was scrambled eggs with smoked sewin, which was a revelation. There are plenty of walks and activities in the area, and Helen and Anne are keen to recommend the best place to eat. The bed was the most comfortable we have ever slept in and the furnishings and restoration of the house are impeccable.
I can’t recommend the place highly enough; Helen and Anne made the three of us very welcome and nothing was too much trouble. It is the kind of place you desperately try to find an excuse to return to. We even enjoyed walking on the beach in the rain…