What is Operation Jam Jar?

Operation Jam Jar is all about getting back to basics in the kitchen.

Check out my efforts at cooking from scratch - cakes, soups, biscuits

Learn how to make things that you would normally buy at the supermarket - wraps, ice cream, pizza bases

Try to live a more 'country' lifestyle in the city - making your own jams or relish

Get the skills to enjoy cooking in a thrifty way, and have a bit of fun while you do it

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Will’s Cheesy Soda Bread

Just the other night we had what is affectionately known as a pantry cupboard curry (an assortment of lentlls, tinned tomatoes and unknown quantities of spices and chilli).  Instead of reaching for the old faithful accompaniments of rice or cous cous, my husband decided to bake us a loaf of fresh bread instead (‘for dunking in the sauce’).  It was so tasty I thought I would share it with you. 

And even though it’s the start of summer, this crazy weather means that you might still be needing a little comfort food at dinner.  Just today we went down to the beach for a swim and ended up running home (OK, briskly walking) with the beach towels over our heads for protection.

If you think that baking your own bread sounds a bit too hard, soda bread is a nice way to start.  There’s no yeast or rising time - just chuck it all in a bowl and away you go.  Couldn’t be simpler.


4 cups plain flour
2 tsp bi carb soda
1 tsp salt
60g butter, cut into small cubes
2 cups milk
½ cup grated cheese (we used cheddar)


Pre-heat your oven to 190°C and line a baking sheet with baking paper.

Sift the flour, bi carb and salt into a large mixing bowl.  Rub in the butter with your fingertips until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.  Add the milk and use a wooden spoon to form a ball of dough (you may need a little more milk if it’s too dry).

Place on a floured work surface and bring the dough together into a firm ball.  Shape it into a 20cm round and place on the baking tray.  Sprinkle with the grated cheese, pushing it down on to the dough so that it sticks.

Bake in the oven for around 40 mins or until the top is golden brown.  Serve warm with plenty of butter.