Thursday, 17 October 2013

Apple, Guinness and Cheese Soda Bread

How could I have been so stupid as to make this recipe, from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall without reading any of the comments attached to the published online recipe? On both the River Cottage site and the C4 site there are comments stating that there is too much liquid in the recipe as printed and that it should be 250mls of Guinness or buttermilk, not 250mls of each, and several bloggers who have also made it picked up on the published error.

Anyway - this idiot used both, and ended up with a sloppy batter which couldn't be shaped by hand. I scraped it into a large casserole dish lined with scrunched up baking parchment and got a decently shaped cob-like loaf out of it. However it didn't cook properly, even after more than an hour in a very hot oven, and the cut loaf showed both a dense, too moist texture and a line of under-baked dough at the bottom of the loaf.

The flavour combination of cheese and apple should have been great, but the loaf had a bitter after-taste which neither of us found pleasant to eat. Guinness is notorious for bitterness but I don't usually find it a problem, so I'm wondering if there was a weird interaction between the Guinness and the buttermilk.

There's a lot of potential in this soda bread so I really want to try it again, with just one of the suggested liquids, but can't really find an occasion to do so, as neither of us are eating bread at the moment, except for Saturday lunch, when I don't think Hubs would give up his crusty baguette.

I was going to enter this quick soda bread into this month's Tea Time Treats challenge, which is for breads, but as the recipe was a failure, and we didn't even like the flavour of the finished loaf, it hardly seems right to do so!


Foodycat said...

I love the idea of this! You'd think the River Cottage site would have the decency to publish the correction.

Anonymous said...

It's really frustrating when that happens. You put in all the effort of making it and get something unpleasant or down right inedible at the end! I've just made a salted caramel tart in which the caramel ended up as rock hard toffee. When I looked at similar recipes on line they used over twice the amount of cream that this recipe did which I suspect is why I got that result. I'm sure about the combination of apple and Guinness - I think I'd be tempted to miss it out or use cider.

Suelle said...

Using cider sounds a good idea!

Choclette said...

Oh I do hate ending up with something that is almost inedible. I can see the combination of Guinness and buttermilk might not work. I made an apple and cider loaf recently and substituted sour milk for the cider which worked well. I've never used apple in bread before and have since used it in my weekly rye sourdough to very good effect.

Anonymous said...

My mom said, soda will giving you rich taste but no really good texture bread. But, I don't really well since I never made them.
And I love bread with more skim milk and cheese.

My war regards from Bali, Indonesia.