Irish wheaten meal soda bread
In Ireland, Margaret learned from her aunt who gave her the soda bread recipe. It was at boarding school where she acquired many of the simple recipes she still uses, such as white sauce.
Photo: Sahlan Hayes
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- 3 cups self-raising flour
- 3 cups plain flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- 3 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 500g wheaten meal *
- 900ml buttermilk
Heat oven to 180C (fan-forced). Sift flours thoroughly and mix with salt, sugar and bicarbonate of soda in a large bowl. Add wheaten meal and mix well to combine. Make a well in the centre and add buttermilk all at once. Stir in buttermilk with a spoon to combine, then mix with your hands until a dough forms.
Turn dough out on a large floured board and knead lightly with your hands for about three minutes, or until the dough springs back when a thumb is pushed into it. Shape into a round cake and cut a two-centimetre-deep cross with a sharp, floured knife.
Place on a floured baking tray and bake for about 35-40 minutes. The bread is ready when a tap on the bottom produces a hollow sound. Wrap in a linen tea cloth and leave to cool.
* The Natural Grocer brand of fine crushed wheat (naturalgrocer.com.au) gives a result very similar to the wheaten meal sold in Ireland.