We love the simplicity of soda bread - all of those wonderful baking smells wafting around your house, without the fuss of proving or kneading. Traditional Irish soda bread calls for buttermilk, which contains lactic acid that creates tiny bubbles and helps it rise.
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Here's how you do it
Preheat your oven to 230°C. Pour the flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a mixing bowl and make a well in the centre. Add most of the buttermilk into the well and stir with a fork to combine. Once the dough has started to come together, you can start to use your hands, adding a little more buttermilk if the mixture looks a little dry. The dough should be soft but not too wet.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured baking tray, flip over and mould into a round loaf around 2 inches thick. Using a sharp knife, cut a deep cross on top of the loaf all the way to the edges.
Bake in the oven for 15 minutes then reduce the heat to 200°C and cook for a further 20 minutes, or until the bread sounds hollow when the base is tapped.
Allow to cool slightly, then serve warm in slices with plenty of butter.