We play around with lots of different types of dough and love them all. This one in particular is great with a chunky soup, or dipped into creamy hummus, or pungent pesto…
Fresh from the garden: rosemary, parsley, sage
Recipe source: adapted from The Ballymaloe Bread Book by Tim Allen
Makes: 1 loaf
What to do:
- Heat up the oven to 230 degrees C.
- Wash and spin dry the herbs and pick the leaves, discarding the stalks. Finely chop the leaves – you’ll need about 3 tablespoons’ worth.
- Sieve the flour, salt and bread soda into a large, wide mixing bowl. Add the freshly chopped herbs to the dry ingredients and stir well.
- Make a well in the centre. Pour most of the milk into the flour. Using one hand with the fingers open and stiff, mix in a full circle drawing in the flour from the sides of the bowl, adding more buttermilk if necessary. The dough should be softish, not too wet and sticky.
- The trick with all soda breads is not to over-mix the dough. Mix the dough as quickly and as gently as possible, keeping it really light and airy. When the dough comes together, turn it out onto a well-floured work surface. Wash and dry your hands.
- Gently roll the ball of dough around with floury hands for a few seconds, just enough to tidy up. Then pat it gently into a round, about 5 cm high.
- Place the dough on a lightly floured baking sheet. With a sharp knife cut a deep cross in the middle of it, letting the cuts go over the sides of the bread. Then prick the four triangles with your knife: according to Irish folklore this will let the fairies out!
- Put this into your preheated oven for 10 minutes, then turn the heat down to 200 degrees C for a further 25 minutes, or until cooked. When the bread is cooked it will sound hollow when tapped.
- Leave to cool for a few minutes, then cut into slices or chunks and divide among your serving plates.
Notes:What is bread soda? Which country do you think this recipe comes from? What other ingredients could you add to this bread? Where do fairies live?