My Soda Bread variant…

You will need:

200g/6oz self-raising wholemeal flour
200g/6oz plain flour
½ tsp salt
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
300ml buttermilk (although you could use water – try it?)

1-2 tbsp dried chilli flakes or 10 black olives (chopped) and 1-2 tbsp rosemary (optional)

Preheat the oven to 400F/200C/Gas 6 (with our oven I tend to go for 180C to be honest). Tip the flours, salt and bicarbonate of soda into a large mixing bowl and stir. Make a well in the centre and pour in the liquid, mixing quickly with a large fork to form a soft dough. (Depending upon the absorbency of the flour, you may need to add a little milk if the dough seems too stiff but it should not be too wet or sticky). If you’re going with optional extras – now’s the time.

Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead briefly. Form into a round and flatten the dough slightly before placing on a lightly floured baking sheet.
Cut a cross on the top and bake for about 30 minutes or until the loaf sounds hollow when tapped. Cool on a wire rack.

Tasty (and much more filling than your average slice – despite being smaller).

Buttermilk’s not always so readily available, so I regularly opt for ‘normal’ milk with the juice of a lemon squeezed into it and left for an hour or so to mildly curdle. However, tepid water definitely works and my pic. here is of a loaf baked using good old H2O. I also think the shelf life is longer with loaves made that way – which is great if you’re doing a pre-camping bake-off.

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