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Leek Loaf

This simple soda bread recipe is stuffed with buttery leeks and blue cheese and is particularly enjoyable served warm.

From the book


A soda bread dough for dense, heroic loaves. Dunk in steaming hot soup after a muddy session of tidying up in the veg patch; or slice and stuff with hunks of leftover Christmas ham and eat while flicking through seed catalogues by the fire. Either way, best for slow days and leaden skies.

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10g butter
1 large leek, trimmed, washed and finely sliced
250g self-raising wholemeal flour
100g plain white flour, plus extra for dusting
½ tsp flaky sea salt
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
150ml whole milk
100g natural yogurt
75g Stilton cheese, or similar blue cheese

Essential kit

You will need: a non-stick 900g loaf tin.


Preheat the oven to 220°C/200°C fan/gas mark 7 and find a non-stick 900g loaf tin.

Melt the butter in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the leek and a pinch of salt and fry for 5 minutes until just softened. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

Combine the flours, the measured salt and the bicarbonate of soda in a bowl. Whisk the milk and yogurt together in a jug, then pour it into the dry mixture. Combine to make a stiff, sticky dough. Tip the dough onto a floured work surface and divide into 4 equal pieces. Flour your hands and shape the pieces into 4 stubby sausages. Each sausage should be roughly half the length of the loaf tin and half the width. Press down on the top of the sausages to flatten the dough into four 4 ovals.

Divide the leek mixture into 4 and pile 1 portion lengthways down the centre of each dough oval. Crumble the blue cheese and press that on top of the leek mixture. Fold the long sides of each oval over the leek filling, to ensconce it almost completely in dough. This will be messy, and you will think there is too much stuffing, but cram it in and don’t worry about the mess – it just makes for more tasty crusty bits. You should finish with the seams facing upwards and the filling peeking out of a dough pillow.

Lift the rolls into the loaf tin and arrange them snugly two by two in a single layer so the inside edges form a cross in middle of the tin. Bake for 30 minutes, or until risen and golden. Remove from the oven and tip the bread out of the loaf tin onto a wire rack. Leave to cool for 15 minutes, then tear the rolls apart from one another and serve. Best eaten warm.


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From the book: From the Veg Patch

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