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Breaking bread with Gill Meller to celebrate autumnal abundance at Home Farm

Amy Brice

Soda bread

A quick loaf that’s packed full of texture and flavour, Gill Meller’s Cheddar and Whey Hazelnut Soda Bread recipe has been created with autumn’s bounty in mind. The latest in a series of seasonal recipes developed by Gill using Quicke’s award-winning clothbound cheese, the soda bread takes inspiration from all corners of this ancient Devon landscape, from the dairy and ancient woodlands to Mary Quicke’s own back garden.

Taking just 45 minutes to prepare, this is a recipe designed for the busiest of seasons, a time of harvesting, gathering and preparation for the months ahead. Beneath a golden cheesy crown, made using Quicke’s Buttery Clothbound Cheddar, the bread is crammed with sweet roast red onions and rosemary from the garden, along with bashed hazelnuts and jumbo oats to give the most satisfying of bites. All brought together using whey left over from the cheesemaking process, this loaf sets out to make the most of what the pastures provide.

Following the publication of Gill’s latest book, Time, which moves through the seasons with recipes created for morning, daytime and night, this new soda bread recipe is firmly rooted in autumn at Home Farm. Just as the milk shifts with the changing seasons, giving new complexities to truckles entering the cheese stores for anything from three up to 24 months, minds turn to feasting, comfort and shelter as the colours change across Home Farm. Created to tell help tell the story of the land as autumn brings about shorter days and thicker jumpers, Gill’s recipe is a warm invitation to gather with friends and hunker down with a good hunk of bread.

The recipe for Gill Meller’s Cheddar and Whey Hazelnut Soda Bread can be found at www.quickes.co.uk/blogs/recipes.