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Irish Soda Bread – a St Patrick’s Day Favourite

I love making bread but sometimes you don’t have time for all that kneading & proving. So  what’s better than to make some beautiful fresh Irish soda bread in time for St Patrick’s day tomorrow. It’s a perfect accompaniment  to go with Simon’s Irish stew recipe (on it’s way next), a bowl of home-made soup or simply a piece of tangy mature Irish Cheddar. This recipe is tasty, quick to prepare, great to get the kids involved, with freshly baked bread ready in under 90 minutes. The bread is best eaten fresh as it stales quite quickly, but that shouldn’t be a problem once tasted, one slice is never enough! It also makes great tasting toast.   Thanks to Richard Corrigan, the famous Irish chef for his recipe, which I have tweaked slightly and to Felicity Cloake for her invaluable tips for a great loaf.

Ingredients  (makes 1 large loaf)DSC_0565

  • 250g (8.8oz) white flour (unbleached all purpose)
  • 250g (8.8oz) wholemeal flour
  • 150g (5.3oz) rolled oats (steel cut oat flakes)
  • 500ml (17 fl oz)  buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon malt extract ( or black treacle, if you can’t get just use more honey)
  • 1 tablespoon clear honey ( I used  heather honey)
  • 15g (0.5 oz) bicarbonate of soda
  • 10g (0.3 oz) sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon of melted butter

DSC_0567Method

  • Pre heat oven to 200 C fan (390 F)
  • Mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl
  • Make a well in the centre, add the buttermilk, malt extract and honey
  • Work the mix into a dough with your hands
  • Don’t worry if it is sticky at first the dough will come together after a few minutes
  • Lightly flour your hands, shape dough into a round and place on a baking sheet lined with baking parchment
  • Use a sharp knife to mark a cross on the topDSC_0570
  • Bake for  40-45 minutes
  • Remove from the oven, check if baked by tapping the base which should sound hollow
  • Cool on a wire rack, firstly brushing surface with melted butter, then covering with a clean damp tea towel

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Happy St Patrick’s Day – mine’s a slice!

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