Round loaves of soda bread were traditionally baked on a hot griddle over the fire and had a lovely crisp crust. The bread is moist, close-textured and delicious, with a distinctive flavour which comes from the soda and buttermilk.
MAKES 1 LARGE LOAF
450 g (1 lb) plain wholemeal flour
100 g (4 oz) plain flour
50 g (2 oz) rolled oats
5 ml (1 tsp) bicarbonate of soda
5 ml (1 tsp) salt
about 450 ml (3/4 pint) buttermilk
1. Put the flours, oats, bicarbonate of soda and salt in a large bowl and mix together. Add enough buttermilk to mix to a soft dough.
2. Knead very lightly, then shape into a large round and place on a greased baking sheet. Cut a deep cross in the top. Bake at 230°C (450°F) mark 8 for 15 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 200°C (400°F) mark 6 and bake for a further 20 - 25 minutes or until the loaf sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.