Garden herb soda bread

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Garden herb soda bread


250g plain flour, plus extra, to dust
250g wholemeal flour
1 1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tbs caster sugar
60g butter, diced
300-400ml buttermilk
3-4 tbs of freshly chopped soft herbs – anything that needs using up

Whipped malt butter
100g unsalted butter, room temperature
2tbsp milk
1tbsp malt extract


  1. Heat the oven to 190c/gas mark 5. Lightly flour a large baking sheet.
  2. Sift the flours, salt, bicarbonate of soda and sugar into a large bowl and add back any bran still left in the sieve.
  3. Rub the butter into the flour mixture with your fingertips. Stir the herbs into the flour and butter crumb and then add the buttermilk, just enough of it to turn the mixture into a soft dough.
  4. Turn out on to the table and with minimal handling, shape into a round of about 8 inches in diameter and about 1 inch thick. Don't worry if there are a few cracks on the surface. Work quickly as the raising agents are starting to work and to achieve maximum rise it needs to go into the oven as soon as you can.
  5. With the floured handle of a wooden spoon, make a deep dent in the shape of the cross on top.
  6. Bake in the oven for 35-45 minutes, until the bread is risen, golden brown and with no greyness evident in the cross. Remove to a wire rack to cool.
  7. While the bread is cooking, place the butter into a small bowl and using electric beaters whisk for 2 mins until lightened, add the milk and continue to whisk for a further 1 minute until very light in texture and white in colour. Add the malt extract and some sea salt for seasoning.

Author: Leiths Teachers


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