Chorizo & Manchego Soda Bread

Friday, 11 September 2015

If you have been reading my blog for a while, you will probably know about my personal battle against exercising. If you haven’t, you can read a bit here and here (and prepare an amazing Rocky Road by the way!)

I've been recently given an annual membership card for my local gym. I need to thank my husband’s company for this (thanks!). This allows me to take part in every single session every single day of the year. Far too much pressure. So after a couple of weeks finding perfect excuses not to go, yesterday I decided to start working out.

As I haven’t been doing much for a while, I've ended up having the flexibility of an 80-year-old man. I can’t touch my toes. In perfect honesty… I can barely touch my knees. So, in order to do things right this time, I thought about starting with something relaxing and not too difficult. Yoga seemed just the right thing for me. 

When I arrived to the gym, the first thing I realised was that I everyone was carrying their own mat. Firstly I thought “this people must be really into yoga if they have their very own mat! Where would I find a mat now?” I should have run away. Destiny was giving me a second chance. But I didn't take it… I borrowed a mat from the fitness class. 

I laid my mat at the back of the room and the instructor came in. The second thing I noticed was… pedicures. Everyone’s toes but mine were perfect. More than that, were pretty. I was tempted to leave my socks on, but then the instructor told me yoga was about feeling and connecting with your body and, of course, my toes are part of my body. So I took my shoes off and spend the whole session trying to connect with my calloused, hairy and poorly looked after feet.

The instructor put some relaxing music on and the class started. Everyone started moving. And I had no idea what the instructor was talking about. So I just looked around and copied (sort-of) what the other were doing. Yoga instructors generally preach tolerance of yourself and your limitations. They say things like, “If you can’t do this pose, try this instead.” Liars. They already know you can’t.  But when I got on the mat and everyone is contorted into some pretzel-like position with their legs behind their heads, I didn't feel relaxed at all. I felt like the loser of a really tricky Twister game.

I also discovered that my attire was definitely not the right one for the occasion. I was wearing a hoodie that kept covering my head while I was trying to follow the class without falling down. And only then I realised that almost everyone was wearing the same kind of clothes: a sort of mega-expensive pyjamas with Om symbols. How is it possible than a practice that is supposed to be focused on our inner lives can be so outer-obsessed. You won’t believe the amount of yoga fashion shops selling the latest must-have yoga clothes.

The session continued and I managed to maintain the composure, apart from a couple of falls followed by hysterics that made my yoga-fellows look at me with disapproval. At least I didn't fart. Phew.

By the end of the class I was exhausted, frustrated and feeling absolutely ridiculous when the instructor asked us to relax by doing the Shavasana pose, which is really just lying still. Then, I discovered why everyone was carrying their very own mat. Having your face against a soggy, smelly and of dubious origin mat was really not the best way to relax and connect with my inner me.   

So I went back home and did what relaxes me most in the world: to cook. I prepared this Chorizo and Manchego Cheese Soda Bread, a recipe that nourishes body and mind.



450g Plain flour 
1tsp Bicarbonate of soda 
1tsp Salt 
30g Cold butter
100g Chorizo - chopped small
200g Manchego Cheese - diced
300ml Buttermilk 
2tbsp Water


Pre heat oven to 200C.

Sift flour, bicarbonate and salt into a big bowl. Rub the butter into the flour until it looks like breadcrumbs. 

Add the chorizo and manchego and mix together. 

Add the water and buttermilk together and add to the dry ingredients. 

Lightly mix together with either your hands or a table knife. Tip: Don't kneed like a normal bread or it will spoil the crumbly texture. If the mix is too dry add some milk. The dough should be sticky. 

Shape into a round and cut a deep cross in the bread - this helps it to cook through and not be soggy!

Bake  35/40mins  until golden brown.

Serve warm.

Thanks for the recipe, Rachael!


  1. Really funny read your "experience" in Yoga class. I'm looking forward to read about your next experiences in the gym (Your First Pilates class as example), and read and enjoy your next "extra-delicious" recipe. This bread is really the best bread ever!!! Congrats.

  2. Thanks for your comment!!

    Don´t think Pilates is for me neither though...


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