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Enjoy a little taste of Ireland here in Dorset with this traditional Irish recipe for home-made brown soda bread – as taught to me at the Dingle Cookery School in Co. Kerry last year when I attended one of their cookery master classes.

Don’t forget to request it when you book so that I can bake a fresh loaf for you!

Ingredients

300g brown/wholemeal flour
200g plain white flour
80g porridge oats/oatmeal (separated into 70g and 10g)
1 tablespoon bicarbonate of soda, sieved
A generous pinch of salt
300 – 400 ml buttermilk (the exact amount will vary, dependent on the dryness of your ingredients and the humidity in the air. I know this sounds crazy but it’s true; I need more buttermilk when I bake this bread in Dorset than I do in Ireland, where the climate is damper!)

Method

  • Pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees C/180 fan
  • Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl, reserving 10g of the porridge oats.
  • Using a wooden spoon, add the buttermilk until the mixture sticks together in a stiff porridge consistency.
  • Turn out onto a floured tray and shape into a flat, circular loaf around 3″ deep and 8″ across. Use the handle of the wooden spoon to make the traditional cross in the top. Sprinkle with the remaining oatmeal.
  • Alternative baking shape: use a 2lb loaf tin (this will require additional cooking time)
  • Bake for c. 30 minutes. Check that the bread is cooked by putting a skewer into the centre of the loaf and if it comes out dry, the bread is done. If wet, the loaf needs a few more minutes.
  • Cool on a wire rack – although the bread is delicious when warm, let it cool down a bit or else it will crumble when sliced.
  • ENJOY!

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