Lockdown Cooking

July 03 2020
Lockdown Cooking

Recipe of the Month, with Ann Murray

HELLO everyone – and welcome back!

Sorry I haven’t been writing my articles, but when lockdown started, life became so very hectic. My son and his wife with my two small grandchildren got marooned here. They are still with us since they live in London where it is still worrying. I’d forgotten how exhausting a two-and-a-half-year-old and a 3-month-old baby can be.

Still, I count myself very lucky that, whilst most grandparents are desperately missing their grandchildren, we have them with us all the time.

I’ve been cooking with Abi, my little granddaughter, and have been amazed at how much she can do. She loves baking with me and takes great pride in the things we make together.

It’s also a great way to get fussy eaters to eat. If they’ve made it, they may well be minded to eat it!

This simple soda bread recipe can be made by kids and goes well with cheese, ham, bacon or smoked salmon to be a bit more up market.

Wheaten Soda Bread

THIS is the simplest of all breads and is very quick to make. It’s best eaten very fresh, ideally on the day it’s made, although it will still taste good the next day. Delicious with cheese, bacon or ham. And, of course, with smoked salmon. It freezes well, so you might want to eat one loaf and freeze the other.

Makes 2 small loaves


  • 100g/3½oz wholemeal flour, plus extra for dusting

  • 100g/3½oz self-raising flour

  • 1 tbsp bicarbonate of soda

  • 50g/2oz jumbo oat flakes

  • 50g/2oz wheatgerm

  • ¼ level teaspoon of fine salt

  • 4tbsp) clear, runny honey

  • 1 ½  tbs black treacle

  • 225ml/14fl oz buttermilk

Read the Top Tips before you start on the recipe.

Preheat the oven to 180c, fan 160c, gas mark 4


Here’s what you do:


  1. Line a large baking sheet with non-stick paper and dust with flour.

  2. Sieve the flour into a large bowl.

  3. Add all the other dry ingredients and mix.

  4. In another bowl combine all the dry wet ingredients.

  5. Working quickly, add the wet ingredients to the dry and lightly mix together with your hands until you have a loose, soft dough.

  6. As soon as the dough starts to come together STOP and tip it out of the bowl onto your lightly floured work surface. Don’t overwork it or the raising agents won’t work.

  7. Divide the mix into 2.

  8. Using floured hands lightly shape the mix into 2 ovals.

  9. Place on the prepped baking sheet.

  10. Bake in the middle of the oven for 30 mins or ‘til the bread sounds hollow when tapped on the base.

  11. Cool on a wire rack.


Top Tips:


  • Get everything prepped before starting to make the bread. So preheat the oven, prep the baking sheet, assemble the dry ingredients in one bowl, wet ingredients in another.

  • Work quickly to ensure a good rise. Once the wet ingredients are added to the dry ones the raising agents are active and you want to get the bread made and in the oven ASAP.

  • Don’t overwork the dough or the raising agents won’t work, and your bread will be heavy.