In celebration of this week’s Real Bread Week, we’ll be making this delicious soda bread recipe. If you haven’t tried making your own bread before, give this a go and get into good habits of home baking! We promise you won’t regret it. However, if you do get a bit slack, don’t slip back into the sliced bread trap, support your local, independent bakery and buy from there instead.
- 500g (1lb) stoneground wholemeal plain flour
- 100g (3½oz) butter
- 284ml carton buttermilk
- 4 tablespoons milk
- 2 level teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
- 1 level teaspoon salt
- 1 level teaspoon caster sugar
- Baking sheet, buttered
- Set the oven to Gas Mark 7 or 220°C. Tip the flour into a bowl. Add the butter and rub it in until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
- Mix the buttermilk and milk in a jug. Stir the bicarbonate of soda, salt and sugar into the flour mixture. Pour in the milk and mix to a soft dough.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and shape into a ball. Place this on a baking sheet and flatten it slightly. Cut a deep cross into the top, using a long-bladed knife and cutting almost all the way through. Bake it in the centre of the oven for 25-30 minutes, or until it has risen, and the base sounds hollow when tapped.
- Transfer it to a wire rack to cool. The bread is best eaten on the day of baking. Or you can freeze the loaf for up to one month. Wrap a cold loaf in a freezer bag. Let bread defrost and “refresh” it in a hot oven for a few minutes before serving.
TIP It’s the bicarbonate of soda that reacts with the buttermilk so the bread rises. It starts to work as soon as the ingredients are mixed, so once “wet mixed”, don’t leave it too long before baking.