Hello lovelies, and welcome to another fiiiiine edition of Friday Feast. This week: me! Yep, I’m at the helm and I’m not only a sharing a recipe for easy soda bread, I’m running a giveaway too.
But before we get into that, let’s all give a big sigh for Us Heins Weren’t Meant To Play Golf. Okay, so last week was better. Not much better but there was an improvement. I think I only lost one ball. Or was that two? I drown so many it’s hard to keep count and the rounds just blur into one another. Anyway, I have a spiffy new pair of golf trousers to try out this week. They’re Puma which, according to the ads, means Ricky Fowler’s swing is just a mind’s leap away. Or something like that. Yeah, I don’t believe it either.
As I’m sure you all know, my latest release is The Falls. It’s lovely. You should read it.
For as long as she can remember, Teagan Bliss has wanted to manage her family’s property. She’s invested everything in the farm, knowing that when her parents retire she’ll be ready to take the reins. But when a family betrayal leaves her reeling, Teagan is forced to rethink her entire future.
Heartbroken, Teagan flees to her aunt’s property in the idyllic Falls Valley. Vanessa is warm and welcoming and a favourite of the locals who drop in regularly for cocktail hour. Teagan soon catches the attention of sexy local farrier Lucas Knight, and with a new job, new friends and the prospect of a new relationship, she slowly begins to open up again.
But the village is a hotbed of gossip and division and when Teagan gets caught up in town politics, Lucas and Vanessa become concerned. As the tension in town escalates, Teagan must decide who to trust. But when she realises those close to her have been keeping secrets, the fallout may split Teagan apart forever.
The Falls is available right this very moment in paperback and ebook. Visit Booktopia, Angus & Robertson or Bookworld. Also Amazon.au, iBooks, Kobo, Google Play, JB Hi-Fi, Boomerang Books, Dymocks, Collins Booksellers, Abbey’s Bookstore, QBD The Bookshop, or your favourite independent book seller or chain store.
Right, time for some foodie fun!
The Staff Of Life
We make a lot of our own bread in the Hein house. I have several tried and true favourite recipes that whup the butts off most bought loaves. One of the absolute best is a minimal knead, long-rise bread that produces the most beautiful chewy crust; like sour-dough but without all the hassle of maintaining a ‘starter’.
There’s also focaccia, various flatbreads for serving with curries, and a few different soda breads. Delia Smith’s recipe for goat’s cheese, onion and potato bread is a cracker and, like most of her recipes, dead easy to make. If a normal white loaf is all we’re after, a few minutes measuring ingredients for the bread machine and it’s on its way. Plus the bread machine is great for when we can’t be bothered to do a slow-rise loaf. Using the same ingredients, we set it to ‘dough’ and when that’s ready use our special oven technique to get a good crust. The texture isn’t as nice as the slow-rise but it does the job.
Which means it’s not often that our freezer is empty of a loaf of some description. It does, however, happen. And it happened one night a few years back right when I’d made a big pot of winter vegetable soup. With no time to make a proper yeast-risen bread, or the right ingredients to whip up any of my favourite flavoured soda breads, panic ensued.
Okay, not panic. After all, we wouldn’t die or anything if we had soup without bread, but it was annoying.
What to do?
Make the best of it, that’s what. I checked the fridge and cupboards, had a bit of a think, whacked on the oven and started mixing. The result was a soda bread to be proud of.
Seriously, this bread takes no skill, bugger-all effort and tastes brilliant. You’ll love it.
Cheesy Mustard Bread In A Hurry
525g plain flour – I use bread flour but if you don’t have any, normal plain is just fine.
1 teaspoon bi-carb soda
1 teaspoon salt
50g grated cheddar
350 ml milk
1/3 cup (80ml) of buttermilk, sour cream, cream, evaporated milk, whatever. Or simply make up with milk. Frankly, it doesn’t matter. I’ve used them all and they all taste fine.
1 heaped teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 heaped teaspoon hot English mustard (As with the milk, whatever mustards you have on hand or prefer the taste of – wholegrain works well too)
Thyme or another herb if you have it, otherwise ignore.
Pre-heat oven to 200C.
Weigh out the flour into a large bowl. Add salt and bi-carb. Mix well. Strip thyme stems of their leaves, if using, and throw those in then grate in cheddar and mix again.
Measure out all the other wet ingredients into a separate jug, and whisk until combined.
Pour wet ingredients on to dry and mix until you have a sort of dough. Don’t get too excited about kneading it. Just mix until it comes together then form into a nice oval loaf-like shape.
Line a baking tray with baking paper (I used a pre-heated pizza stone this time round) and plonk the dough on top. Using a sharp knife, cut diagonal slashes across the surface. Grate enough Parmesan over the top to suit your taste.
Bung in the oven for 40 minutes until brown and crusty.
Slice and serve with butter to many oohs and ahhs!
Now, because I have a belly full or bread and am feeling pleased with the world (I had to make a loaf because I had no piccies of it, and then I had to taste test it – honestly, the things I do for you), I think we should have a…
Okay, to be in the draw to win a signed copy of Heartland, Callie, Matt and Honk the mad goose’s story, share with me your favourite bread. Or even your favourite soup. Or just leave a comment. Let’s not make things complicated. I’m feeling far too relaxed for that!
Please note: Giveaway closes midnight Tuesday AEST, 23rd June, 2015. Australian postal addresses only.
If you’d like to learn more about me and my books, please feel free to explore my website. There’s lots of cool stuff on here. You can also connect via Facebook, Twitter using @CathrynHein, Goodreads and Pinterest.
For all the latest news, plus giveaways and more, not to mention extra special happy vibes from me, please sign up to my newsletter. It’s fun!