Antony Worrall Thompson’s wife gives her recipe for this Christmas bread. Jay says: ‘Warm soda bread is perfect for Christmas morning – the children like it with butter and jam, topped with banana.’
- 400g white flour, preferably unbleached
- 1 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon mixed spice
- Pinch ground coriander
- Pinch ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 50g vanilla sugar
- Zest of 1 small orange (organic or unwaxed)
- 100g dried cranberries
- 450ml buttermilk
Preheat the oven to 220C/Gas 7
Sieve the first seven ingredients into a mixing bowl.
Next add the orange zest and dried cranberries. Make a well in the centre and pour in most of the buttermilk. Using one hand in a circular motion, mix in the flour to form a dough which is fairly soft without being too wet or sticky – add more buttermilk if necessary.
Turn the dough out on to a floured board. Knead just enough to tidy the package into a neat ball.
Pat the dough into a round 1¼ in (3 cm) deep and cut a deep cross on the surface.
Bake for 20 minutes on a floured baking tray then reduce the heat to 200C/4Gas 6 for another 25 minutes. To test whether cooked, tap the bottom of the bread and if it is ready it will sound hollow.
Jay says: 'If you can’t get buttermilk, take 400ml of full fat milk and squeeze the juice of a lemon it. Leave for about twenty minutes until it starts to curdle.'