Soda bread is probably one of the quickest and easiest loaves around. This tasty bread uses bicarbonate of soda as it's raising agent, instead of yeast. As far as I am aware, it was invented because yeast was quite expensive people needed an alternative to make their bread with (please correct me if I'm wrong!). Soda bread doesn't last very long, so it's probably best to serve it with a soup or a stew, and eat it all in one sitting. This bake tastes great slightly warm, with a generous slathering of butter.
Makes 1 medium loaf. Serves 4-6.
For the loaf:
350 Wholemeal spelt flour
1 1/2 tablespoons bicarbonate of soda
250ml buttermilk (or stir 1 teaspoon of lemon juice into semi-skimmed milk)
2 teaspoons dried basil
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees c.
Place the flour into a large bowl and mix in the salt, herbs and bicarb.
Add the milk and mix to form a dough (adding more milk if it feels a little dry).
Place the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for a couple of minutes.
Shape the dough into a ball and place onto a lined baking tray.
Cut a large cross into the top of the loaf and then sprinkle with a little flour
Bake for around 25 minutes, or until the bottom of the loaf sounds hollow when tapped.
Cool slightly on a wire rack before serving (tastes best whilst it's still a little warm).