I promised to post a recipe for a non-yeast quick bread and this is one of my favourites. It's really easy to make, and it goes well with soup or stew. It's delicious the next day with butter and jam. It freezes well, too.
My original recipe, which was handed down from my grandmother, called for lard. I don't use lard, so I substituted butter. And I boosted the whole wheat flour/white flour ratio to give it added fibre. And I cut the salt in half.
So basically, this is now my recipe. But I do give a nod to my Nana.
It is idiot proof. Honest.
2 1/2 cups white flour
2 cups whole wheat flour (I use organic, stone ground)
1/4 cup sugar
3 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1/3 cup cold butter
2 1/2 cups buttermilk
Mix dry ingredients in a big bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry cutter.
(I suppose you could put it in a food processor, but I like to work on my upper arms so I cut it in by hand. It's my way of incorporating aerobics into my daily routine. Then I eat fresh hot bread with butter. Yes, I see the irony.)
Once the butter is the size of tiny peas, add the buttermilk and mix lightly. Turn the whole thing onto a heavily floured board and knead it lightly, about 10 times. Form it into a big ball and place it on a piece of parchment on a cookie sheet, or if you don't have parchment just grease a cookie sheet.
Make a cross on top of the dough with a sharp knife, almost to the bottom of the bread. This is important. It won't taste the same without the cross. Honest.
Bake at 350F for one hour or until brown and it sounds hollow when tapped. When it has cooled a bit and if you live with a) a lot of men, or b) teenagers, then carve a big chunk and hide it so you'll have a piece for your breakfast the next day.