Rosemary & Olive Oil Soda Bread

Soda bread is quick and easy to make and, of course, is good to eat. But classic soda bread doesn't really work when served alongside the kinds of dishes I often cook, such as pasta. This recipe doesn’t stick to the classic soda bread ingredients in that it adds both baking powder and olive oil. Flavoured with rosemary, or with other herbs if you wish, this is a light and tasty bread that will accompany a whole range of dishes.

350 g white bread flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
The leaves from 2 or 3 large sprigs of rosemary, finely chopped
Black pepper
3 tbsp olive oil
1 egg, lightly beaten
250 ml buttermilk

Preheat the oven to 200°C for a fan oven (a little hotter for a non-fan).

Sift together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a bowl. Add the rosemary and a few twists of black pepper. Make sure that they are well mixed together. Make a well in the centre.

Pour in the oil, egg and buttermilk. Quickly mix in with a wooden spoon just until the dough comes together.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead it briefly. The dough should be smooth and not too sticky. If it’s not smooth knead a little more, though don’t overdo it. If it seems very sticky add a little more flour.

Shape into a 20 cm round and cut this into 8 wedges. Place the wedges on a baking sheet lined with silicone or non-stick paper, allowing about 3cm between them. Bake for 15 minutes until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack as usual.

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