Every Thursday, before I start writing, I bake some bread. I learned how to do it as a child back in Ireland. Scrumptious served warm with butter, this bread is best eaten on the day it’s baked but can be frozen.
200g wholemeal flour
100g strong white flour, plus extra to dust
1½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
A pinch of salt
Small handful of sunflower seeds
1 tsp caraway seeds
1 Preheat oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl.
2 Add the buttermilk and mix with a wooden spoon until the mix comes together in a big ball.
3 Gently move it around with your hands until soft and spongy. Place on
a floured board and shape into a dome.
4 Sprinkle the base of a round tin with flour, then cut a cross into, but not through, the bread. This will let the fairies out and make it look authentic. Bake for about 20-25 minutes. It’s ready when the base of the loaf sounds hollow when tapped.
Very pleased to have this recipe published in The Guardian