For a quick and easy loaf, Irish soda bread is just the ticket. Taking just 10 minutes to prep, simply mix the ingredients (don’t over-mix them!), pat into a dough, then whack it all straight in the oven.
Bicarbonate of soda replaces yeast as the raising agent in this recipe, so you can scrap the hours of proving, too.
With a hard crust and deliciously textured middle, this is a delicious loaf, eaten slightly warm with a little butter or cheese, or dunked into soup. Here’s a simple step-by-step guide to getting it just right.
HOW TO MAKE SIMPLE SODA BREAD
1. Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/gas 5. Place 250g of wholemeal flour, 100g of plain flour and 50g of pinhead oatmeal into a large bowl.
2. Add 1 teaspoon each of bicarbonate of soda, sea salt and sugar, then mix well.
3. In a separate bowl, use a fork or balloon whisk to beat 1 large free-range egg and 300ml of buttermilk together.
4. Use a fork to stir the egg mixture into the flour so it starts to come together.
5. Use your hands to pat and bring the dough together, shaping it into a ball.
6. Lightly flour a baking tray and place the dough on top.
7. Use your hands to flatten the dough slightly so you end up with a disc, roughly 6 to 7cm thick.
8. Score a cross into the top of the bread with the blunt edge of a knife.
9. Bake in the centre of the oven for 50 to 60 minutes, or until a firm crust has formed and it sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.
Serve slightly warm with soup or a nice wedge of cheese.