SODA BREAD

Makes 1 medium loaf This Ir­ish bread is one of the sim­plest to make, with no yeast, a quick mix by hand and a short rest­ing time. The cross on top was orig­i­nally made to ward off the devil and pro­tect the house­hold.

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250g coarse whole­meal flour 250g self-rais­ing flour, plus ex­tra for dust­ing 80g coarse oat­meal, plus ex­tra for dust­ing

Pre­heat the oven to 200°C, gas mark 6. Line a bak­ing tray with bak­ing pa­per.

In a large bowl, gen­tly mix both flours, the oat­meal, bi­car­bon­ate of soda and salt to­gether to loosely com­bine.

Pour in the black trea­cle, but­ter­milk and wa­ter, then mix to­gether un­til a wet sticky dough is formed.

Rub your hands with some flour, then bring the dough to­gether into a ball and place 6g bi­car­bon­ate of soda 12g fine sea salt

25g black trea­cle

250g but­ter­milk

200g wa­ter

1 tsp olive oil

on the pre­pared bak­ing tray.

Rub the oil all over the top of the dough and sprin­kle heav­ily with coarse oat­meal. Cut a cross through the dough about a quar­ter of the way through, us­ing a ser­rated knife, then leave to rest for 8 min­utes.

Bake in the pre­heated oven for 40 min­utes, un­til bloomed out like a flower and golden brown. Re­move from the oven and place on a rack to cool.

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