Making your own bread is incredibly satisfying, but it does take a bit of practice to get it right. Soda bread is a great option for beginners: it’s quick, tasty and even a novice baker can produce a very handsome loaf.
Makes 1 medium loaf
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 40-45 minutes
You will need
500g plain flour
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp fine sea salt
Approx 400ml buttermilk or live yogurt
A little milk (if necessary)
1. Preheat the oven to 200oC/gas mark 6
2. Sift the flour and bicarbonate of soda into a large mixing box and stir in the salt. Make a small well in the centre, pour in the yogurt or buttermilk and stir. The mixture should form a soft dough so if it’s a bit dry, add a dash of milk until all the ingredients combine and it becomes a bit sticky.
3. Lightly flour your worktop and tip out your dough. Knead your dough for roughly a minute and shape into a round. Heavy kneading is not required with this recipe!
4. Lightly dust your baking tray with flour (this will prevent your bread from sticking), place your dough on the tray and then dust generously with flour.
5. Mark a deep cross in your loaf with a sharp bread knife and then place in the oven. Bake for 40-45 minutes. If you get a hollow sound when you tap the underneath then you know it’s done. Tip: If your loaf starts to brown too quickly, simply cover loosely with foil.
6. Place your bread on a wire rack to cool a little and then serve while still warm. Serve with butter, jam or marmalade. For a summer picnic treat, try spreading with garlic cheese.
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