This delicious Irish bread is best eaten on the day it's made - but you can save it 'til later, and simply warm it through in the oven
- 500g (1lb) plain flour
- 2 level tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 level tsp paprika
- 1 level tsp salt
- 60g (2oz) butter
- 125g (4oz) mature Cheddar cheese, grated
- 1 medium onion, peeled and grated
- 250ml (8fl oz) milk
- 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
Set the oven to 220°C/Gas Mark 7. Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda, paprika and salt into a bowl. Add the butter and rub it in until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Reserve 1 tablespoon grated cheese and stir the rest into the mixture, along with the onion.
Mix together the milk and vinegar, then pour into the flour mixture. Quickly mix the ingredients together to form a soft dough, taking care not to over-mix.
Shape the dough into a round and place on the baking sheet. Use a long knife to mark a deep cross on the top of the loaf. Sprinkle the reserved cheese over.
Bake the loaf in the centre of the oven for 30 – 35 minutes, or until it has risen, is golden in colour and it sounds hollow when tapped underneath. Remove the loaf from the oven and slide it on to a wire rack to cool. Serve the bread warm or cold, with cheese and pickle.
Top tip for making Cheddar and onion soda bread
Wrap the loaf in a freezer bag, seal and label. Freeze for up to 3 months. Allow the loaf to defrost and then warm it through in a hot oven before serving.