I must warn the unsuspecting home cook that this soda bread recipe varies ever so slightly from the traditional. The ingredients are all there but the ratios have been played around with. I find that a wet, stickier dough results in a more tender crumb. Traditionally many recipes will get you to mix the ingredients before giving the soda bread dough a quick knead on the kitchen bench. This dough is too sticky for that and so after mixing the ingredients together just use the wooden spoon to scrape the mixture into a shaggy mound on the baking tray.
Because of the dough’s consistency it also isn’t possible (or necessary) to cut the traditional cross in the top of the loaf. The cross cutting is said to ward of the devil and protect the household, so not doing it may be a big risk, but it is one I am willing to take for a such a tasty finished product.
150 g Plain flour
150 g Whole wheat (wholemeal) flour
1 tsp bi-carb soda
1 tsp salt
300 ml Buttermilk
1. Pre-heat the oven to 200 C. The dough comes together so quickly and it is important to not let the mixture sit on the bench while the oven is heating up, so make sure that the oven has come to temperature before mixing the dough together.
2. Place the flours, salt and bi-carb soda together in a bowl and whisk together.
3. Pour in the buttermilk and using a wooden spoon mix everything to combine.
4. Scrape the dough from the bowl onto a baking tray that is lined with paper.
5. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 30 – 35 minutes. The bread should have browned in colour and sound hollow when you tap the bottom.
6. It can be tempting to cut into it straight away but allow the cooked soda bread to come to room temperature. Cutting into the loaf when it is still oven-hot may result in a gummy texture.