Cheesy Soda Bread

“Music I heard with you was more than music,
And bread I broke with you was more than bread.”

Conrad Aiken

There is something about the everlasting charm of the tear-and-share breads. It could be the proximity, it could be the smell, it could be the sharing, eating together, or, indeed, it could be all of the time spent with people you love and care about. As it’s far less temperamental than yeast-based recipes, soda bread is a great place to start to indulge yourself in “Bread Wonderland” with your families and connect  your self back to basic, forgotten understanding through food.

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Ingredients:

425g plain flour, plus extra for kneading
1 tsp salt
1 rounded tsp bicarbonate of soda
100g stoneground wholemeal flour
Chopped nuts
125g Irish farmhouse cheese, coarsely grated
Approximately 500ml milk, soudered with drop of

Method

Preheat the oven to 230°C/450°F/gas mark 8. Sift the plain flour, salt and bicarbonate of soda into a large mixing bowl and stir in the wholemeal flour, and 75g of the grated cheese. Make a well in the centre, add 450ml of the buttermilk and mix together to make a soft but not too sticky dough. Add a little more buttermilk or milk if the mixture seems a little dry.  Turn the mixture out onto a lightly floured surface and knead very lightly and briefly into a round. Flip the dough over and gently flatten it into a disc about 4cm thick.

Lightly dust a baking sheet with flour and place the dough on it and sprinkle over the remaining cheese and nuts. Then using a large, sharp knife, cut a large cross into the top of the loaf, almost all the way through the dough. Bake the loaf on the middle shelf of the oven for 15 minutes. Then lower the oven temperature to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6, and bake for a further 20-25 minutes, until it sounds hollow when you tap the base. Leave to cool before serving.

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Treat yourself!

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