Soda bread rolls are so simple to make! No yeast, no kneading, no waiting for it to prove! You just mix up the ingredients, pop it in the oven and voila! Perfect, crusty, delicious rolls.
And these soda bread rolls are extra special because they contain a rainbow of grated wonky veg, that makes them a fabulously orange hue on the outside, and flecked with multicoloured veg on the inside. Delicious!
I’ve created these amazingly tasty soda bread rolls to coincide with the release of UglyDolls, a brand new movie set to launch into cinemas across the UK on 16th August 2019.
In this new animated family adventure based on the beloved UglyDolls toy brand, unconventionality rules.
The movie starts out in the adorably different town of Uglyville, where the free-spirited Moxy (Kelly Clarkson) and her UglyDolls friends confront what it means to be different, struggle with their desire to be loved, and ultimately discover that you don’t have to be perfect to be amazing because who you truly are is what matters most.
Since the core message behind the UglyDolls movie is all about loving your imperfections, I’ve taken “wonky” produce (the veg usually considered too bent or misshapen to make it onto the supermarket aisles) to create a perfectly imperfect bake.
In a recent interview with USA today Kelly Clarkson said "Moxy could not be more perfect for me. Because I’m not really that (princess) girl. I’m really this girl. UglyDolls is a giant metaphor on life," she says. "We all come in different shapes, sizes and personalities, but with our own individuality."
I love that! And with food waste becoming an increasingly big issue in the UK, I’d love to see that same attitude carried over to wonky veg! Some veg may not look like our idea of “perfect” but it can be just as tasty to cook with, so let’s make my UglyDolls vegetable soda bread rolls.
How to make vegetable soda bread rolls
The wonderfully savoury soda bread combined with the subtle sweetness of the veg makes these rolls a real winner, and you won't believe how simple they are to make!
- 450g self-raising wholemeal flour (plus 50-100g for dusting)
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 400ml buttermilk
- 1 medium free-range egg
- 35g carrot, grated
- 50g beetroot, grated
- 15g swede, grated
- 25g courgette, grated
Preheat the oven to 220C/430F (2000C/390F fan).
Put the flour and bicarbonate of soda into a large bowl.
Mix well, then make a large well (a hole) in the centre of the flour.
Pour the buttermilk into the well and add the egg.
Whisk the buttermilk and egg together with a fork, slowly incorporating the flour until it's all combined.
Add the grated veg. I've used carrot, beetroot, swede and courgette, but you can use any combination you like.
Mix everything together.
Generously flour a board.
Tip the dough on to it. It will be very sticky and wet, but that's fine!
Gently and briefly knead the dough on the board, to form a loose round.
Use a long knife to cut the dough into eight equal pieces.
Using well-floured hands, roll each piece of dough.
Place each roll onto a floured non-stick baking tray.
Bake for 30 minutes until golden and cooked through. To test if the rolls are baked through, take them out of the oven and tap the bottom to see if it sounds hollow.
Once baked you can enjoy your rolls in all sorts of ways.
With soup and perhaps a little butter...
Or you could grate more of your lovely wonky veg, mix with a little cream cheese and use to fill your soda bread rolls.
You could even embrace the UglyDolls theme even further and turn your rolls into unusual faces using some of your wonky veg.
Extra tips for perfect soda bread rolls
What does soda bread taste like?
Soda bread is a very hearty, savoury bread with a nice, dense crumb.
Flavour wise, I'd say it's not too far off a traditional wholemeal loaf with a hint of digestive biscuit or graham cracker.
Why is my soda bread so dense?
Soda bread is naturally more dense than a yeasted loaf, but too-dense soda bread is usually a result of over kneading, or the dough not being wet enough, so be gentle and don’t be tempted to add extra flour.
Once you have formed your rolls or loaf and they're on the tray, you can also let them rest for 10 minutes before placing in the oven to help relax the final crumb.
What kind of flour should I use?
I've used self-raising wholemeal flour, but white or wholemeal flour works well.
Soda bread doesn't need a lot of gluten to work, so strong white bread flour isn't recommended, but cake or pastry flour can also make for a tasty loaf.
Should I knead my soda bread?
No, you should not knead soda bread other than to briefly and gently bring it to shape.
For soda bread, the raising agent is bicarbonate of soda, which means the leavening will start right away, so it's best to be gentle and do the minimum amount of mixing required to get a uniform dough. No heavy kneading!
Can soda bread be made without buttermilk?
If you don't have any buttermilk to hand the easier thing to do is make it yourself! Simply add a tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar to 200ml of milk and let it sit for 10 minutes at room temperature. It won't thicken up as much as most buttermilks you can buy, but will still make for a delicious loaf.
Stout (be mindful there will a little alcohol in the stout) can also work as a substitute for buttermilk and adds a unique flavour.
Different liquids will bring different levels of thickness and moisture to the finished dough, so be mindful about how much you need to add to get the right consistency.
Can soda bread be made with yogurt?
Yes, soda bread can be made with yogurt or sour cream! Simply thin it out with a drop of milk if it’s very thick, and then sour with a squeeze of lemon juice.
What is soda bread good with?
For the ultimate simple treat, just spread your soda bread rolls with a little salted butter - it will taste fantastic.
Soda bread also pairs well with hearty soups and stews, and toasted it makes an excellent accompaniment to jams, marmalades and preserves.
Yes, even these vegetable soda bread rolls work with sweet toppings!
Can soda bread be toasted?
Yes, soda bread can indeed be toasted - and it's very tasty too!
Sliced in half, these crusty soda bread rolls should just about fit in the toasted. Just be mindful that soda bread crumbles more easily than most yeasted bread, so it may break apart in the toaster.
For best results, pop it under the grill.
Is soda bread yeast free?
Yes, soda bread is yeast free. It rises because of the use of bicarbonate of soda and it’s reaction with the slightly acidic buttermilk - no yeast needed!
Is soda bread easy to make?
Yes, soda bread is incredibly easy to make!
As you're not contending with yeast it means the dough is far less temperamental, doesn't take many hours to prove and you don’t have to worry about ambient temperature or humidity.
I'd say in terms of ease of making vs. the end result, soda bread is my absolute favourite bread to make as it’s near impossible to get wrong!
How long does soda bread keep?
Soda bread is best if eaten the same day or the day after.
You can get away with an extra day if you don’t mind the texture being a little stiff. To soften it back up, pop it in the oven at 150C for 5-10 minutes before eating.
Can soda bread be frozen?
Yes, a cooked soda bread roll or loaf will freeze quite nicely if wrapped and frozen as soon as it's cooled. Once defrosted, you can pop it in the oven at 150C for 5-10 minutes to soften.
Can I freeze soda bread dough?
No. Due to soda bread being a 'quick bread' where the leavrning happens as soon as you mix the ingredients, you can't freeze the dough.
Is soda bread healthy?
The wholemeal flour and vegetables used in this recipe for soda bread rolls certainly help to make it one of the healthier types of breads you can eat.
Is soda bread easier to digest?
As soda bread doesn’t contain yeast, some people might find it easier to digest than a standard loaf of sliced white bread, if that usually leaves them feeling bloated.
Is soda bread vegan?
This recipe, as with most soda bread, isn't vegan due to the buttermilk.
However, if you use a plant or nut milk and a tablespoon of white wine vinegar to sour it, and then use an egg replacer instead of egg, you can make your soda bread totally free from animal products.
Be mindful of how much milk you use as it won't be quite as thick as buttermilk, meaning you might not need quite as much.
Is soda bread and sourdough the same thing?
No, soda bread and sourdough are not the same thing.
Sourdough rises from the lactic acid in the naturally occurring yeast to create carbon dioxide which gets trapped in the dough, whereas soda bread uses buttermilk and bicarbonate of soda to create carbon dioxide.
Any more questions about my “ugly” vegetable soda bread rolls? Just ask!
If you’d like to print the wonky vegetable soda bread rolls recipe, just hit PRINT on the recipe card below.
Vegetable soda bread rolls
- 450 g (15.9 oz) self-raising wholemeal flour plus 50-100g for dusting
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 400 ml (13.5 floz) buttermilk
- 1 medium free-range egg
- 35 g (1.2 oz) carrot grated
- 50 g (1.8 oz) beetroot grated
- 15 g (0.5 oz) swede grated
- 25 g (0.9 oz) courgette grated
- Preheat the oven to 220C/430F (2000C/390F fan).
- Put the flour and bicarbonate of soda into a large bowl.
- Mix well, then make a large well (a hole in the centre of the flour).
- Pour the buttermilk into the well and add the egg.
- Whisk the buttermilk and egg together with a fork, slowly incorporating the flour until it’s all combined.
- Add the grated veg. I’ve used carrot, beetroot, swede and courgette, but you can use any combination you like.
- Mix everything together.
- Generously flour a board.
- Tip the dough on to it. It will be very sticky and wet, but that’s fine!
- Gently and briefly knead the dough on the board, to form a loose round.
- Use a long knife to cut the dough into eight equal pieces.
- Using well-floured hands, roll each piece of dough.
- Place each roll onto a floured non-stick baking tray.
- Bake for 30 minutes until golden and cooked through. To test if the rolls are baked through, take them out of the oven and tap the bottom to see if it sounds hollow.
This is a commissioned post for the release of UglyDolls.