GBBO challenge week 3: bread – soda bread and home-churned butter

IMG_3812.JPGI cannot start this post without commenting on Paul’s amazing lion bread sculpture. How impressive was that? I did briefly entertain the idea of making a bread sculpture of my own (obviously in the shape of a cat), but sometimes life is too short eh?

Baguettes are something I would like to make one day, but not this weekend.

Then I thought I might make two types of soda bread: one plain one to have for breakfast this morning with cream cheese, smoked salmon and capers; and one tartiflette-inspired one to have for breakfast tomorrow morning with reblochon cheese, lardon, onion and potato. However, our breakfast plans for tomorrow have now changed as we’re going to be out and about, so to jazz up the plain soda bread I decided to make some home-churned butter.

IMG_3787.JPGI have wanted to churn my own butter since my birthday. You may remember my post about the wonderful Morston Hall in Norfolk? Well, on the way home we went on a jaunt to Cromer and the North Norfolk coast, and Andrew bought me a Kilner butter churner as an extra birthday present. This, and a pot of whipping cream is all you actually need to make butter, although it helps if you can have someone to help you churn it – in this case I gave the job to Andrew. He can’t cook, but he can provide hard labour (not really hard, more dull).

In a nutshell you take a 300ml pot of room temperature whipping cream and whip it (get your kitchen boy to whip it) until the butter separates from the buttermilk. Drain away the buttermilk (I want to use mine to make scones), and you have basic butter.

To get rid of the whey, you need to wash the butter in cold water (a friend suggested freezing cold water would be easier, and I agree as the butter did stick to my hands a bit). You kind of massage the butter in the water (changing the water a few times) until the buttermilk is all washed off. A strange experience.


Then use some butter paddles (another birthday pressie from Andrew – also Kilner ones) to pat and shape the butter. This allows some of the excess water to drip off too. I didn’t know what I was doing but it seemed to work if I transferred the butter from one paddle to another.


And then I shaped the butter into a little slab.


Here it is in my Nan’s butter dish, which I inherited when my Grandad died. Hardly a family heirloom, but it reminds me of them both and seemed kind of appropriate for this homemade butter.


Then for the soda bread: I used a Richard Corrigan recipe which includes treacle, giving it a deliciously dark colour. I weighed out all of the dry ingredients the night before (including plain flour, wholemeal flour and oats, salt plus the rising agent of soda bread, bicarbonate of soda).


When I woke up this morning I added the wet ingredients: honey, treacle and the bit that reacts with the bicarb: buttermilk.


You simply need to mix together the wet and dry ingredients, just until they come together, as the more you work the dough the tougher the bread becomes.


The dough mixture stays surprisingly wet, so with floured hands you shape the dough into a round loaf and cross it deeply with a knife. Apparently that lets the devil out or the fairies in or helps the bread cook more evenly – I can’t remember exactly.


40 minutes in the oven, and less than an hour after stirring everything together, you have your loaf of bread.


In that time you (or Andrew) can make your butter to spread on top of the warm bread (seriously, is there anything better?).


And you can top that with smoked salmon and capers, alongside a boiled egg = best breakfast ever.


Here are some other recipes from fellow bloggers:

I am taking part in various challenges again, including The Great Blogger Bake Off, Bready Steady Go (also  by Utterly Scrummy Food for Families) and the Bloggers Bake Along to GBBO. All details below, why not join in?

The challenges this week:

Mummy Mishaps

22 Replies to “GBBO challenge week 3: bread – soda bread and home-churned butter”

  1. Looks very delicious, Tracy! And the pics are great too 🙂

    1. Thanks Sarah! It was delicious 🙂

  2. This looks so good, never thought of adding treacle. I think it’s to let the devil out from what Rachel Allen said in that cooking event.. At least I think that’s what I heard! Thanks for sharing my rolls.xx

    1. Aha yes, I knew it was something like that … I was going to make Rachel’s version but I was intrigued by this treacle recipe. I did follow her tip of being very gentle with the dough though …

  3. well firstly *claps hands* well done on making your own homemade churned butter !! and your bread – what a gorgeous colour, which must be down to the back treacle. yum!
    thank you for linking up x

    1. Definitely the treacle adding that beautiful colour – I will definitely use it again. Looking forward to seeing what everyone else has made.

  4. recipesfromapantry says: Reply

    Yes please to warm bread covered in home churned butter.

    1. I know, you can’t go too far wrong with warm bread and butter can you?!

  5. Wow!! Homemade butter.. how fabulous!! I love putting treacle into my soda breads too.. Looks great! Hazel x

    1. I had never come across it before – I assumed it would add sweetness but actually it’s just that lovely colour.

  6. I love making my butter at home, much better than the store bought butter! And I add a little bit of salt too yummm and I’m craving a smoked salmon with cream cheese and capers sandwich!!

    1. It was definitely one of my favourite breakfasts. I saw a tip on another butter post I linked to at the bottom of the blog (Helen’s Fuss Free Flavours) that you can freeze the butter too – so I might make some in bulk next time … although I have basically already finished what I made yesterday 🙂

  7. Jen @ Jen's Food says: Reply

    Well done for making your own butter, not sure I’d have the patience. I do have an Andrew all of my own though who could be roped in for the hard labour! Love the colour of this soda bread, will have to add treacle into mine next time I make some, thanks for sharing with #BreadySteadyGo 🙂

    1. This is definitely the best soda bread I have made, so the treacle seems to do the trick (the colour is fab isn’t it!). Looking forward to seeing all the other breadysteadygo entries 🙂

  8. Woo good job in making your own butter! For some reason I never really realised that it’s just made by churning for ages, though seems obvious now. The bread looks fab too! x

    Jasmin Charlotte

    1. It wasn’t obvious to me either. It is surprisingly easy, although the churning process is a tad dull. Thanks for your comment 🙂

  9. Wow, your own home churned butter to,serve alongside homemade bread, love that! I need one of one mini churns now… 🙂

    1. Oh they are great fun – a bit of effort but actually worth it when you realise it works!

  10. Gorgeous looking Soda Bread and well done for making your own butter! Thanks for linking to my soda bread:-)

    1. Thanks Camilla – nothing like homemade bread and butter

  11. This all looks delicious! Your butter looks fantastic, I’d like to have a go at that myself one day. #BloggersBakeAlong

    1. Definitely give it a go! If Andrew can do it, believe me anyone can 😉

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