This bread is fantastic for dinner parties or easy lunches, as it takes about five minutes to pull the dough together and then it’s ready to bake. The smell of fresh bread to welcome people is nearly unbeatable. I like to serve this while it’s still a bit warm, so that the butter melts into it. The walnuts pair well with blue cheese spread on top as well, and possibly a small drizzle of honey for that classic sweet / savoury combination that is so more-ish. I use our soda bread blend for this loaf, but wholemeal spelt is also delicious.
You can also omit the walnuts for a plain version.
Makes 1 soda bread
Preheat your oven to 230°C.
In a non-stick saucepan, lightly toast the walnuts over a low-medium heat for 20 seconds or so, until they start to smell fragrant.
Weigh the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl, including the nuts. Make a well in the middle and pour in the buttermilk. Combine it with a blunt kitchen knife, handling the dough as little as possible – there is no need to knead this dough, in fact, the less you handle it, the better! When the ingredients are evenly incorporated, shape the dough into a round loaf using your hands.
Place it on a floured baking tray or stone, and score a deep cross into the top, taking the cuts right down the sides. This will make the bread easy to break into quarters for sharing.
Bake it for 30-40 minutes on a low shelf in the oven. To check when it is done, insert a metal skewer – if it comes out clean, the bread is cooked. Leave it to cool on a wire rack.
This bread is best eaten on the day of making.