If you think fresh bread means pulling out the (dusty) bread-making machine or taking a trip to your local bakery, we have good news for you: our herbed cheddar soda bread requires no kneading, no gadgets, no driving (unless you have an empty pantry, of course), and is ready in under an hour. This rustic, hearty bread is super easy to make (a good, kid-friendly baking project), is filled with whole-wheat flour, herbs, and cheddar cheese, and makes two loaves at once. It would also be a delicious side for homemade chicken noodle soup or chili, add some variety to the lunchbox sandwich, and would pair well with eggs for a savoury brunch. This soda bread will keep well for two days, so feel free to double batch that soup recipe!
Move oven rack to bottom third of oven, preheat to 400°F, and spray two 8 x 4-inch loaf pans. In a large bowl, stir the oregano, basil, thyme, salt, baking soda and all-purpose and whole-wheat flours until combined.
Add the cold, unsalted butter (in chunks) and work it into the flour mixture until coarse crumbs form (tip: your hands work just as well as a pastry cutter for this). Stir in the grated cheese, followed by the buttermilk until just combined. No buttermilk on hand? No worries. Add 1 tbsp vinegar or lemon juice to each cup of milk and let stand for 10 minutes until it curdles slightly.
Transfer the dough (it will be slightly sticky) to a well-floured surface and divide it in half. Form each half into a loaf shape, about 7 inches long, and place into your sprayed loaf pans.
Bake the bread in the bottom third of the oven until the tops are a deep golden brown, about 35 – 45 minutes (be sure to check at the 35-minute mark to avoid over baking). Transfer the pans to a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes, then run a knife along the inside edge of each pan and turn the loaves out onto the rack to finish cooling.
Try this recipe: Herbed cheddar soda bread
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- 1 1/2 cups coarsely grated cheddar cheese, lightly packed
- 1 3/4 cups buttermilk