Since reaching the final of series 4 of the Great British Bake Off, Ruby has been writing for The Guardian and working on her cookbook, Crumb, which is due to be released in Autumn this year. I was lucky enough to meet her last year through my position with the London Student, and, as we stood nervously in line waiting to meet Nigel Slater together in December, she kindly agreed to write me and Zosia a guest post. So here it is!
Made with bicarbonate of soda rather than yeast, this gently sweet, crumbly loaf takes just one hour to make. It relies on the near-instantaneous chemical reaction between the soda and the acidic buttermilk for its rise, so make sure your oven's preheated and ready in advance so that the bread isn't left waiting. If you can't find buttermilk (although most supermarkets should sell it), use 200ml of sour cream topped up with 100ml of milk.
- 300g wholemeal flour, plus extra to dust
- 1tsp bicarbonate of soda
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- 2 small dessert apples, finely diced
- 300ml buttermilk
- 2tbsp honey
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas mark 4.
2. In a bowl, combine the flour, bicarbonate of soda, sat and cinnamon. Toss through the small cubes of apple then stir through the buttermilk and honey. You'll be left with a wet, sticky dough.
3. With floured hands, on a floured work surface, shape the dough into a rough ball. No need to worry too much about neatness here - it's a pointedly rustic-looking loaf (or so you can claim!).
4. Transfer the shaped dough to a baking tray, dust lightly with flour and score a deep cross into the top with a sharp knife. Bake for 50 minutes until golden.
More of Ruby's recipes can be found in The Guardian, or on her personal blog, Ruby and the Kitchen.