Easter Loaf and ‘Food for the soul’

Its a while since I posted any recipes on here and it seems more apt than ever since many of us have more time, and are adapting to new ways of shopping and eating.

I’ve quite enjoyed having to cook with what’s in my cupboard, and being limited by what’s available when I do my ‘once a week’ supermarket shop.

I am wondering if the empty supermarket shelves means people are cooking more. It certainly seems that people may be baking more as flour is now in short supply! Luckily I had a variety of different wholegrain flours in my cupboard to experiment with when my son took it upon himself to start making soda bread for lunch. Together we have enjoyed trying different versions with different flours including various gluten free versions.

As a healthier alternative to the usual hot cross I thought I’d try an sweeter ‘Easter’ soda bread and it got a thumbs up round our breakfast table this morning.

Feel free to adapt the recipe anyway you like, savoury or sweet, its so easy to make & cooks in half an hour. A seeded wholemeal soda bread served with homemade soup and humus makes a very satisfying lockdown lunch! This is the Easter version but please adapt as you wish for a savoury version!


250g flour (I used a combination of spelt & rye for this one)

A pinch of salt

1 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

75g raisins

75g chopped dates

50g chopped walnuts

30g sunflower seeds & extra for sprinkling on top.

Finely grated zest and juice of 1 orange

1 tbsp maple syrup

(for a savoury version just omit the dried fruit & swap the juice for kefir/ buttermilk, or any dairy or non dairy milk, mixed with 1 tbsp of cider vinegar or lemon juice)

  • Preheat the oven to 200C & line a baking tray with baking paper
  • In a large bowl mix the flour, salt & bicarbonate of soda
  • Stir in the dried fruit, nuts, seeds and orange zest
  • Tip the orange juice into a jug and make it up to 175ml with water
  • Stir in the maple syrup
  • Pour the juice into the dry and mix to form a dough
  • Tip onto a floured surface and form into a thick sausage shape
  • Transfer to a baking tray, brush with a little water and sprinkle with sunflower seeds
  • Cut 4 or 5 deep slashes into the dough on an angle
  • Bake for about 30 minutes until brown all over

I hope this is useful. I am planning on sharing some more recipes on here again.

I am also going to continue to host a weekly ‘Feel Better Together’ Zoom call. It is really important that we stay physically healthy during these times, but we also need to be mindful of our mental and emotional health, and to stay socially connected.

I have always said the Supper Club is about so much more than food and the ‘Feel Better Together’ call has really proved this to be the case.

We have connected with each other in a very different way but the experience is becoming like ‘food for the soul’. The call this week was really quite extraordinary. The brilliant Sally Tissington and Bhavik Shah hosted the call and I felt extremely privileged to witness their enormous capacity for empathy and compassion.  I feel so blessed to be able to connect and learn from them both, and from all the other brilliant people who are joining us on this call. We have so much to learn from each other and I am hoping we will continue to learn week in week out from people sharing and telling their stories. I know that when we come out the other side of all this, the Supper Club will be all the better for it!

Please do join us this Wednesday if you would like. We’d be delighted to see you! Please get in touch if you’d like me to send you the link.

Take good care of yourselves,

Harriet x






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