We love making bread, but often find that the process is difficult to fit into our day.
Irish Soda Bread is a wonderful healthy "no knead" alternative that tastes really homely and warming. It is quick and easy to make and we often enjoy it for lunch with soup or salad, at teatime with butter and jam or as a simple Sunday supper.
My favourite version is the "teatime version" spread thickly *right to the edges" with golden butter and homemade plum jam.
But it also goes wonderfully well with soup...
To make a perfectly simple lunch or Sunday evening supper.
To make one loaf:
Mix 400 grams of plain flour with 100 grams of wholewheat flour.
Stir in 100 grams of porridge oats, 2 teaspoons of bicarbonate of soda and a couple of pinches of salt.
When the dry ingredients have been mixed through rub in 25 grams of soft butter.
Make a little "pond" in the middle of the mix and pour in 500 ml of buttermilk (when I've run out of buttermilk I use the same amount of ordinary milk with a couple of teaspoons of a sweet vinegar whisked in and it has always worked ;)
Stir the mix together VERY quickly with a table knife before bringing it together into a loaf shape (the mixture will be very "wet" at this point)
Place the dough onto a floured baking sheet and shape it so that it is around 8 inches in diameter.
Score it three times across with a bread knife to ensure it cooks right through.
Sprinkle some more porridge oats and seeds on the top before placing it in a preheated oven of 180C or gas mark 6 for around 35 minutes (or until the bottom sounds hollow when you tap it.)