Soda bread is by far the simplest loaf of bread you can make. Containing no yeast, it relies on the instant chemical reaction between the alkaline bicarbonate of soda and the acidic buttermilk to cause it to rise. Science lesson over. More importantly than the chemical reactions involved, this loaf tastes delicious. It is a dense, heavy loaf with a consistency which almost resembles a scone. Considerably healthier than your average scone, however. This loaf is one to make on a lazy Sunday morning when only a doorstop of fresh toast smothered in real butter and marmite (not everyone's first choice but a weakness of mine) will suffice. soda bread
225g wholemeal flour
225g plain flour
½ tsp sea salt
1 tsp caster sugar
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1. Set the oven to 220C. Put a large pot and its lid into the oven.
2. Mix together the flours, salt, sugar and bicarbonate of soda. Pour in the liquid, bringing a soft dough together and, working quickly (the soda will start work immediately), shape into a shallow round loaf about 4cm thick.
3. Remove the pan from the oven, dust the inside of the pan lightly with flour and lower in the dough. Cover with the lid and return to the oven.
4. The bread should be ready after 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave in place for 5 minutes before turning out and leaving to cool slightly before eating.