Recipe courtesy of Rachel Allen
Print
Total:
2 hr 5 min
Prep:
20 min
Inactive:
1 hr
Cook:
45 min
Yield:
1 loaf
Level:
Easy

Ingredients

  • 1 pound all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon caster sugar (superfine)
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 12 to 15 ounces (1 1/2 cups to 2 cups) buttermilk or sour milk

Directions

We bake this bread every day at the cookery school, and it is very quick and simple to make at home, too. This is the basic recipe but there are so many sweet and savory variations that you can try - chocolate, raisins, cinnamon, cubes of crispy bacon, cheese, herbs . . . the possibilities are endless. The deep cross in the loaf is supposed to let out the fairies - so that the bread won't be jinxed by evil spirits! In reality, of course, it's just to allow the heat to penetrate the loaf as it's cooking.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Sift the flour, sugar, bicarbonate of soda, and salt into a large bowl, and make a well in the center. Pour in most of the buttermilk, leaving about 2 ounces in the measuring cup. Using one hand with your fingers outstretched like a claw, bring the flour and liquid together, adding more buttermilk, if necessary. Do not knead the mixture or it will become heavy. The dough should be soft, but not too wet and sticky. When the dough comes together, turn it out onto a floured work surface, and bring it together a little more. Pat the dough into a round, about 1 1/2-inches deep, and cut a deep cross in it. Place the round on a baking tray, and bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, then turn down the heat to 400 degrees F, and cook for 30 minutes more. When cooked, the loaf will sound slightly hollow when tapped on the base and be golden in color. Cook's Note: I often turn it upside down for the last 5 minutes of cooking. Allow to cool on a wire rack. Variations: White Soda Scones: Make the dough as above but flattened into a round approximately 2 1/2 1-inch deep. Cut into scones, and cook for 15 to 20 minutes at 450 degrees F. White Soda Bread or Scones with Herbs: Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of freshly chopped herbs, such as rosemary, sage, thyme, chives, parsley or lemon balm, to the dry ingredients, and make as above. Spotted Dog: Add 3 1/2 ounces sultanas (golden raisins), raisins or currants, or a mixture of all three, to the dry ingredients, and make as above. 

Trending Videos 7 Videos

Lighter Chocolate Brownies 02:54

These fudgy chocolate brownies are surprisingly low in fat and calories.

On TV

UpRooted

7am | 6c

UpRooted

7:30am | 6:30c

UpRooted

8am | 7c

UpRooted

8:30am | 7:30c

UpRooted

9am | 8c

UpRooted

9:30am | 8:30c

Unwrapped 2.0

10am | 9c

Unwrapped 2.0

10:30am | 9:30c

Food: Fact or Fiction?

11:30am | 10:30c

Food: Fact or Fiction?

12:30pm | 11:30c

Food: Fact or Fiction?

1:30pm | 12:30c

Good Eats

2pm | 1c

Good Eats

2:30pm | 1:30c

Burgers, Brew & 'Que

3:30pm | 2:30c

Burgers, Brew & 'Que

4:30pm | 3:30c

Man Fire Food

6:30pm | 5:30c

Man Fire Food

7:30pm | 6:30c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Man Fire Food

8pm | 7c

Man Fire Food

8:30pm | 7:30c

Man Fire Food

9:30pm | 8:30c

Cheap Eats

10pm | 9c

I Hart Food

10:30pm | 9:30c

Good Eats

11pm | 10c

Good Eats

11:30pm | 10:30c

Man Fire Food

12am | 11c

Man Fire Food

12:30am | 11:30c

Man Fire Food

1am | 12c

Man Fire Food

1:30am | 12:30c

Cheap Eats

2am | 1c

I Hart Food

2:30am | 1:30c

Good Eats

3am | 2c

Good Eats

3:30am | 2:30c

Trending Videos

So Much Pretty Food Here