Soda bread is delicious with butter and fruity jam or with cheese or crispy bacon. Eat warm on the day it’s baked
- 275g plain flour, plus extra for kneading
- 1 rounded tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1tsp salt
- 250g stoneground wholemeal flour
- 25g Irish porridge oats, plus extra for sprinkling (try Flahavan's)
- 125g Irish farmhouse cheese such as Adrahan or Carrigaline, coarsely grated
- Approximately 500ml buttermilk
Preheat the oven to 230°C/gas mark 8.
Sift the plain flour, salt and bicarbonate of soda into a large mixing bowl and stir in the wholemeal flour, 25g of the oats and 75g of the grated cheese. Make a well in the centre, add 450ml of the buttermilk and mix together to make a soft but not too sticky dough. Add a little more buttermilk or milk if the mixture seems a little dry.
Turn the mixture out onto a lightly floured surface and knead very lightly and briefly into a round. Flip the dough over and gently flatten it into a disc about 4cm thick.
Lightly dust a baking sheet with flour and place the dough on it and sprinkle over the remaining cheese and a few more oats. Then using a large, sharp knife, cut a large cross into the top of the loaf, almost all the way through the dough.
Bake the loaf on the middle shelf of the oven for 15 mins. Then lower the oven temperature to 200°C/gas mark 6 and bake for a further 20-25 mins, until it sounds hollow when you tap the base. Leave to cool before serving.
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Soda bread is a quick bread and uses baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) for leavening rather than yeast