Celia Hart's blog about what's going on in and around her studio.
Art, printmaking, inspirations, gardening, vegetables, hens, landscapes, wild flowers, East Anglia, adventure, travel.

Monday, 12 December 2011

Making Winter wonderful

I enjoy the winter months but some people find them challenging . . . this winter, fellow East Anglian bloggers Silverpebble (a self confessed hibernophobe?) is making an effort to like the cold dark months with the assistance of (hibernophyle?) Thrifty Household's encouragement to embrace winter and Make Winter wonderful!


Up until last week, the weather in SW Suffolk has been unseasonably mild for the time of year, but we've now had a taster of frosty mornings and sparkly clear moonlit nights. On Saturday Cliff and I were up early, crunching over the icy gravel to start a day-trip to Merseyside by train.

Passing through the Peak District the weather closed in, sleet skitted along the train's windows and we looked out over the snowy hills with their tops shrouded in icy clouds – that's a real winter landscape!

I was happy to be settled down with my knitting, watching the view; fortified with my packed lunch of home-made soda bread, beef and horseradish sandwiches :-)

So for Making Winter, here's how I make my soda bread . . . it's an amalgam of Nigel's Lazy Loaf and Woman's Hour - Cook the Perfect Soda Bread. My tip is to buy the best wholemeal flour you can, I get mine from the Daily Bread Co-op in Cambridge – they have lots to choose from so you can experiment and find the one you like best.

Soda Bread
(blast! I spelled casserole wrong!!!!)

I used Cultured Buttermilk.
You can cook this without it being in an iron casserole - look at the Woman's Hour recipe link
but I find the casserole method makes a softer textured loaf.

Nigel's Loaf uses baking soda, but I prefer the flavour of the baking powder only recipe.

The 'dough' is more like a thick, gunky cake mix, so you can't shape it as such – just nudge it out of the bowl with a spatula and plop it into the floured hot, cast-iron casserole. Bung on the lid and half an hour or so later you'll smell cooked bread . . . mmmmmm!

It's lovely just buttered, delicious with a bowl of soup and the sweet nuttiness is heavenly toasted with butter and honey . . . have a go and make winter wonderful :-)

This month's Making Winter Blog Hop is hosted by Thrifty Household, where you'll find links to lots of other ways for Making Winter wonderful, please feel free to join in and add your link to the Blog Hop while you're there.

There's also a Making Winter Flickr Pool where you'll find all kinds of winter delights to inspire you on a cold December day.



  1. Mmmmmm, I can almost smell it from here. I first had soda bread when I was on holiday in southern Ireland with friends in the 1980s and think it's time to try it again!

  2. Oh it looks delicious Celia. Thanks so much for the soda bread tiups and for your tweet on Saturday. It was a wonderful day.

  3. Sounds good, but I'll have to find a version without the cast iron casserole ...

  4. Ooh, a nice thick slice of your soda bread slathered in salty butter would be perfect!
    P.S I love the Daily Bread shop too- I get my flour there (& sacks of bicarb)

  5. Soda bread, my absolute favourite. Thank you so much for sharing Celia :D

    I'm definitely a hibernophyle ... lovely word ;D

  6. Hello Celia,

    I simply wanted to let you know I have linked to your blog tonight... and I see I am next in line after you in the Making Winter Week hall of fame over at Mrs TH!

    Have a beautiful week!


  7. Soda bread is one of my favs. Recently for national baking week I made a parmesan and basil one. It was yum, I wasn't sure it was going to taste as good as it did.

  8. That sounds lovely, about time I started making my own bread again. I'll give it a go at the weekend, just need to buy the buttermilk!

  9. Celia, I wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed reading about your London gallery visits. You really gave me a feeling of what these shows were all about.

    And now, on to soda bread. I've never made it myself, though have been treated to home made versions by various friends over the years.

    It's your pictured recipe that might actually get me to gather some ingredients and pre-heat an oven. Let me add it to my list of New Year's you-know-whats that I am already assembling.


  10. What a great way to write a recipe! I love the pictures.

    The bread looks delicious. I've never made it, but I do have a cast-iron casserole (we call it a Dutch Oven) that hardly ever gets used. Time to get baking with it.

  11. Celia, your pictorial recipe is great! you clearly think 'in pictures' a lot more than I do, and it makes it wonderfully simple and clear.

    Just one question - do you dust the casserole dish with flour after it's heated or before?

    I have made soda bread before, but using a slightly different recipe (no casserole dish involved). Keen to try this one so I can eat soda bread with butter again :)

  12. Love soda bread and haven't made it for ages as we have the whole swing into action with our usual bread thing going. You are making me feel like having a change!

  13. I do love the idea of making winter more bearable by making things, what a wonderful idea that is. I must admit, I'm to be found with my nose to the grindstone making things from morning till night, so this idea is a welcome diversion from what I'm doing. The idea of making bread is a particularly wonderful one, all those warm smells, with something to fill the belly at the end of it. Thank you Celia.
    Vanessa xxx

  14. I hope you have a go at cooking your own Soda Bread, as with all breads you need to develop your own variation of the recipes.

    Maria - yes dust the casserole with flour AFTER it's heated up and just before tipping in the dough.

    Vanessa - like you I'd making stuff all day most days so my relaxation projects are gardening, cooking and knitting :-)


  15. That looks delicious. I don't think I've ever made soda bread although I'm always trying out new bread recipes, will have to change that and try this one soon.

  16. I havem't made soda bread but I think I will have to give it a go - I bet is smells delicious.

  17. Hi Celia
    Good to see you travelled through my neck of the woods (Peak District) it is very snowy at present and beautiful.
    Baking bread is so satisfying, must give your recipe a go, looks yummy
    Jane x

  18. I've been getting primal urges to bake in the last few weeks. Your post has now tipped me over the edge! Roll on the weekend!

  19. The soda bread looks great - I make some to go with the turkey soup we shall inevitably be having in a few weeks' time! Happy Christmas!

  20. Thanks for sharing the soda bread recipe, going to give it a go today!


I love reading all the comments (except for spam and advertising which I will delete) and I'll reply here in the comments under each blog post, it may take a few days if I'm busy.
You don't need to have a blog to leave a comment, you can select the name/URL option and fill in just your name instead of a blog link.