Almond Soda Bread (Smells like a giant Cookie!) February 25 2014

I love making soda breads because it's quick and easy!  After getting those basic ingredients down, you can be quite creative with adding whatever you like in your bread to change the flavor and texture.  I love the taste of yeast breads, but they require hours, or even a whole day to rise.  Soda breads are so much more wholesome and hardy.  A couple of slices will feed you full!

Tonight I wanted to make my bread with a hint of almond fragrance.  I really like almond cookies, but there is too much sugar in it if I plan on getting full on them.  This Almond Soda Bread will remind you of that cookie, but in a much more wholesome way.  The bread is quite crunchy with the wonderful almond aroma.  It is so tempting everytime I walk near it, and just makes me want to cut another slice, then another slice...Haa


1 2/3 cup of Veganic spelt flour

1/3 cup of organic unbleached white whole wheat flour

1/4 cup of steel cut oats

2/3 cup of buttermilk (checkout my DIY buttermilk using yogurt on the bottom)

1 teaspoon of cream of tartar

2 teaspoon of baking soda

3 teaspoon of vanilla extract

3 teaspoon of almond extract

a pinch of sea salt

2 tablespoon of Turbinado cane sugar

1/2 cup of walnuts (lightly chopped so it remains chunky)

1/3 cup of almonds (lightly chopped, or use a spice grinder for speed! :)

unrefine coconut oil

*you can add any nuts here, as many variety as you like.  The more variety, the more hardy your bread will be.  I would love to add pistachio if I had them.  Pistachio and almond really compliments each other!

Ingredients for buttermilk:

2/3 cup unsweetened, plain yogurt

1 tablespoon raw apple cider vinegar

To Make:
Total bake time 45-50 min.

Preheat oven at 350F. Place a cast iron skillet or a cast iron crepe pan to heat up with the oven.

If you have pre-made buttermilk, prepare 2/3 cup to go in the dry ingredients in a moment.  If you want to make your own like I did, here's how:

Mix the buttermilk ingredients together, stir and allow it to sit for at least 5 minutes. 

To make the bread:

Use a sifter to sift spelt flour, unbleached white whole wheat flour, cream of tartar, and baking soda in a mixing bowl.  Mix all dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.  Add chopped walnuts and almonds in the mixing bowl, stir a couple times to mix nuts with other dry ingredients.  Next, slowly pour buttermilk in and use a mixing spatula to fold the batter in.  Instead of pressing the spatula into the dough, you use the folding technique to keep the air bubbles in the dough. If the dough is not completely adhering into one, add a little more yogurt, milk, or water to create more moisture to bind.  You will know the dough is ready for baking when the dough form one large ball. 

Now to grease your dough -- take enough coconut oil to smear it all over the dough ball.  This will create a crunchy crust!

Open the oven, sprinkle some steel cut oats on the skillet.  Place the dough on top of the steel cut oats and make a + sign on top of dough.  This will help distribute heat throughout the bread more evenly.

Increase bake temperature to 400F and bake for 5 min.  Next, increase bake temperature to 450F for 10 min then decrease temperature to 350F and bake for 20-25 min.  When you smell the bread, that's usually a sign of it almost ready!  Poke a skewer into the bread to check if bread is fully baked.  The skewer will be clean/dry when you pull it out of the bread.  If there's a lot of dough sticking to the skewer then your bread needs to bake for a little longer.  Let it bake for another 2-5 min and check it with skewer again.

When bread is ready, remove it from skillet and place on a cooling wreck.  Let it sit out to cool for bit then cut a slice to enjoy!  :D