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Irish Soda Bread
Once made, this bread should be kept for at least four hours before being cut, and keeps for a day or two.
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For 1 loaf:
500g/1 lb Wholemeal or Strong White Flour
1 teaspoon (5ml) Bicarbonate of Soda
1 teaspoon Salt
25g/1 oz Butter, at room temperature
1 medium Egg, lightly-beaten
1 teaspoon (5ml) Golden Syrup
300ml/½ pint Sour Milk – or milk soured with a little lemon juice; or ½ teaspoon (2ml) Cream of Tartar added to the dry ingredients
1. Sieve all the dry ingredients into a large bowl, them rub-in the butter.
2. Make a well in the centre, then add the beaten egg, the golden syrup and most of the sour milk.
3. Mix the dough quickly and lightly with a wooden spoon.
4. The mixture should be slack but not wet. If it’s too stiff, add a little more milk.
5. Put the dough on a floured board, and with floured hands pat it into a circle about 4cm/1½ ins thick.
6. Put it on a baking sheet and make a large cross on the top with a floured knife.
7. Bake it in an oven pre-heated to 190ºC/375ºF/Gas 5 for 30-35 minutes.
8. Test the centre with a sharp knife before removing the bread from the oven – if completely cooked, the knife should come out clean.
If you like you bread crust soft, wrap the bread in a tea towel until it’s cool.