Home baking : Irish soda bread

Ingredients

  • 450 g plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 40 g butter or lard, diced
  • 300 – 350 ml plain buttermilk , if buttermilk is not available you can use 300 ml fresh milk
  • plain flour for dusting

Preparation

  • Heat the oven to 200 C , sift a thin dusting of flour over a baking sheet.
  • Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a bowl, then rub in the butter. Make a well in the centre and pour in 300 ml buttermilk. Mix quickly to a soft dough with a fork , adding more buttermilk if necessary.
  • With floured hands , gather the dough together, turn out on a floured surface and knead lightly and briefly until smooth. Shape the dough into a round about 18 cm in diameter, then place on the prepared baking sheet.
  • Score round into quarters. Bake the bread in the top of the oven for about 30 minutes, until golden brown and the underside sounds hollow when rapped.
  • Transfer the bread to a wire rack, cover with a clean tea towel and leave to cool

Nb: To score the dough into quarters, cut a deep cross in the dough with a sharp , floured knife to within 1 cm of edges.

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