There’s something wonderfully therapeutic about baking bread from scratch, and learning a new skill is such a rewarding thing to do. Soda bread is one of the easiest loaves you can make, so it's a great place to start. There’s no need to prove or knead the dough, so you can just whack it straight in the oven without having to wait ages for the dough to rise.
To make it even easier, Jamie’s tin-can method means you don’t have to bother weighing out, so you can make this delicious loaf without using scales – bonus!
1 tin plain flour (275g), plus extra for dusting
1 tin wholemeal flour (275g)
2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
1 tin buttermilk or semi-skimmed milk (400ml)
optional: 1 teaspoon of honey or sugar
optional: 1 handful of porridge oats, plus extra for sprinkling
olive oil or butter, for brushing
- Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/gas 5.
- Place the flours, bicarbonate of soda, milk, honey (if using) and a generous pinch of sea salt in a large bowl and mix together, then fold in the porridge oats, if using.
- Tip onto a floured surface and use your hands to pat and bring the dough together.
- Shape the dough into a ball and place onto a lightly floured baking tray. Use your hands to flatten the dough slightly, so you end up with a disk, roughly 6 to 7cm thick. Brush with a little olive oil or butter and sprinkle over a few porridge oats, if you like.
- Score a cross into the top of the bread with the blunt edge of a knife, then bake in the centre of the oven for 45 to 50 minutes, or until a firm crust has formed and it sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.
- Turn out the bread onto a wire rack to cool, then serve, still slightly warm, with some soup or a nice wedge of cheese.