Soda bread is so easy and quick to make – it requires no kneading and or yeast. I made it to particularly go with some home smoked mackerel pate but it’s great just with a smothering of butter or plain served alongside soups, such as the ultra comforting cullen skink – a recipe for cold, dark nights during winter though and not for a gloriously sunny day like today. I like to use a stoneground flour by Bacheldre Watermill which is perfect for soda bread as it has such a full flavour. The key to good soda bread is to handle it as little as possible. Some recipes say to knead gently for one minute but once I’ve added the buttermilk then I just bring it together, ensuring all the ingredients are combined well and shape as quickly as possible. The recipe is adapted from Delicious magazine, where I have added all buttermilk instead of a mix of both buttermilk and milk. I have also added fennel seeds instead of the suggested rolled oats.
Makes 12 small rolls
15 minutes prep, 20-25 minutes cooking
300g plain white flour
300g stoneground wholemeal flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp fine sea salt
2 tsp runny honey
1 heaped tbsp fennel seeds, and extra for sprinkling
- Pre-heat oven to 200C / gas 6 / 400F.
- Sieve the white flour and bicarbonate of soda into a large bowl. Add the stoneground flour, fennel seeds and salt. Mix to combine.
- Create a well in the centre and add the buttermilk gradually, as you may not need it all. It should be soft and sticky but not so much that you can’t handle it.
- Divide into equal sized portions. To shape the rolls into rounds then cup your hand over the piece of dough and use circular motions whilst pressing down gently.
- Put the rolls onto a lightly floured baking tray and brush with a little milk. Sprinkle over some more fennel seeds and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until they are golden. Test to see if they’re cooked by tapping underneath – it should produce a hollow sound. Leave to cool on a wire rack.