Homemade soda bread is easy, quick, requires no experience or proving, and is quite unlike the soda bread you’d pick up in a shop. This one’s sweet, malty flavour pairs superbly with crunchy pickles, oily fish, smoked fish and earthy broths. Give it a go.
- Yield: 6 Servings generously
- 2 teaspoons each brown linseeds, golden linseeds and poppy seeds
- 1 tablespoon each sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds
- 220 g light malt or wholemeal flour, plus extra for dusting
- 220 g light rye flour
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 heaped teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 450 ml buttermilk
- 3 tablespoons runny honey
- 15 g butter, melted
- Preheat the oven to 220˚C/Fan 200˚C/Gas 7. Put a 16–20 cm cast-iron casserole dish with its lid in the hot oven to warm up for at least 5 minutes. Mix the seeds together.
- Mix the flours, salt, bicarbonate of soda and three quarters of the seeds in a large bowl. Make a well in the middle, pour the buttermilk into the well and add the honey. Stir the liquids into the dry mixture to create a wet dough, then tip it out onto a lightly floured surface. Gently knead the dough a couple of times, before patting it into a round loaf shape. Don’t spend too long doing this the raising agent has already started to work, so you need to get it in the oven quickly.
- Remove the hot casserole dish from the oven and take the lid off. Quickly dust the inside with wholemeal flour, then carefully lower in the dough. Sprinkle the remaining seeds over the top, put the lid on and return the casserole dish to the top half of the oven.
- Bake for 45 minutes, then lift the lid to check the top is crisp and golden brown (cook for another 5 minutes if not). Remove from the oven and let it sit for 5 minutes, before turning it out onto a wire rack. Brush the top and sides of the loaf with the melted butter, then leave it to cool for at least 30 minutes. Eat it on the same day; briefly return the loaf to the oven if you want to serve it warm.