This is a staple in our house and takes just minutes to make. It’s my wholemeal version of the Ballymaloe soda bread recipe and can be made after breakfast and enjoyed nice and fresh for lunch. It freezes well (just make sure it has fully cooled before freezing) and lasts up to three days. If it goes a little dry or hard putting the slices into a toaster usually brings the softness back to the bread. It costs roughly 80cent a loaf (not including the electricity cost of baking) so it’s cheaper than shop bought soda bread. ‘Little P’ loves it as well and it’s good to know exactly what ingredients are going into her food. I usually make two at a time and freeze one of the loaves so we don’t run out.
225g wholemeal flour (I use the ‘Howard’s’ coarse wholemeal)
225g plain flour
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
Preheat the oven to 180degs fan. Lay some baking parchment on an oven tray. Mix the flours and bicarbonate of soda together. Make a well in the centre and pour in the buttermilk.
Using your hand like a claw gather the flour and milk together until it forms a ball (you may need to clean any excess dough off your hands using a little extra flour). The less you handle the dough the lighter and more spongy the bread, so no kneading.
Shape into a ball and place it on the oven tray. Flatten it slightly with your palm and mark a cross in the centre with a knife. Bake for 35mins. Place on a wire rack to cool (and save your baking parchment for next time!).