Seriously, I never knew just how easy it is to make soda bread. It’s a handy little bit of knowledge if you are unfortunate enough to find the shelves empty in the local supermarket. There are quite a few different recipes out there. A quick search on the internet will demonstrate this, but here is my particular favourite, which yes in properly the easiest. In total it takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes to make from start to finish.
- 1/2 pint of buttermilk (I use standard semi-skimmed milk and the juice from half a fresh lemon, but more about this later)
- 6oz plain flour
- 6oz wholemeal (I tend to just use wholemeal now so 12oz of wholemeal flour)
- 1/2 tablespoon of salt
- 1/2 tablespoon of bicarbonate of soda
- Heat the oven to 400F/200C/Gas 6
- Put the milk into a jug and squeeze the juice from half a fresh lemon into the milk. Whisk, cover with a kitchen towel and leave to stand for 10 minutes.
- Put the flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a large bowl.
- Make a small well in the flour and pour the milk, which should be a little clouted by now, into the flour.
- Mix quickly to form a soft dough. You might need to add a little bit more milk or flour to get the dough right – not to wet, sticky or stiff.
- Tip the dough out onto a floured work surface and knead the dough.
- Form into a round dough and slightly flatten the top.
- Place onto a lightly floured baking tray.
- Cut a cross on the top.
- Cook for about 30-35 minutes (tap the bread and if it sounds hollow it ready).
- Place on a wire rack to cool down.
Dipping sauce: Pour some olive oil into a small bowl and drip some balsamic vinegar until it sinks and makes a dark pool at the bottom of the bowl.