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    Soda Bread 2006

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    Soda Bread 2006

    The secret to a moist, tender crumb is a sloppy and sticky dough that is barely stirred together. With lots of flour on the bench it is possible, working quickly with a practised hand, to scoop the dough out of the bowl on to the table and toss it into an almost perfect ball in the flour. If that is too difficult, simply bake it in a tin, as so many home bakers do in Ireland. You'll end with a loaf that stays moist, and turns out a useful shape. Try baking in a floured muffin tray to make soda buns for soup or softening some chopped onions in butter and rubbing them into the dough before it's cooked.

    • Vegetarian
    • Preparation time: 15 minutes
    • Cooking time: 30 minutes to 35 minutes
    • Total time: 45 minutes to 50 minutes 50 minutes

    Makes: 800g loaf

    Ingredients

    • 400g wholemeal flour
    • 25g melted butter
    • 1½ tbsp caster sugar
    • 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
    • ½ tsp salt
    • 225ml buttermilk
    • 225ml water

    Method

    1. Preheat the oven to 220°C, gas mark 7. Grease a 20cm square cake tin and dust with flour. Measure the flour in to a large mixing bowl, then add the butter and rub it between your fingertips until evenly dispersed. Add the sugar, bicarbonate of soda and salt and toss this through.
    2. In a large jug, measure the buttermilk and thin down with water. Stir this liquid through the dry ingredients quickly and evenly, then scrape it in to the tin and smooth it down. Place an oiled sheet of foil over the top of the tin, squeeze tightly at the corners so it stays on and bake for 20 minutes before removing the foil.
    3. Reduce the heat to 200°C, gas mark 6 and bake for a further 10-15 minutes until brown on top. Remove from the oven and, after 5 minutes, take out of the tin and cool on a wire rack.

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