I started to make white soda bread pizza again last week and made an extra batch sans pizza topping into scones. I vary how I make the soda bread sometimes if son#3 excema is really bad I’ll make it with spelt and soya milk. Otherwise I’ll mix it as follows

WHITE SODA BREAD

1lb white flour
3/4 teaspoon bread soda
1/2 teaspoon of salt
360ml buttermilk (or more often I’ll use plain yogurt mixed with milk)

Set the cooker to 220 C.
Mix all the dry ingredients together. You can sieve it if you like but I don’t. Have a floured tray ready to go in the oven.
Make a well in the center of the dry ingredient and pour in the buttermilk. Mix until just brought together. Knee the dough three or four times only. The less handling the better. Flour the surface and tip the dough on to it. You can roll it flat and using cutters make scones*. Remember the size of the cut shape will influence the cooking time. The bread will make a hollow sound when tapped underneath when it is cooked. Cool on a wry rack. Be warned eating the bread hot from the oven with melted butter and homemade jam is delicious but can induce stomach cramps.

This is a great recipe to let children help with. They really enjoy getting the ingredients, weighing, mixing, getting the dough rolled out and using different cookie cutters to shape out scones. The more they play with it the tougher it becomes but in my experience they are so happy to eat their creations it won’t matter to them.

*I used to do that now I make into a long narrow loaf shape keeping it tall and narrow so I get two rows on the tray.Then using a good knife I cut the dough 3/4 of the way down to make smaller rolls. They cook together but are marked so are easy to break off and give nice open white bread sides with a nice soft crust on top and bottom.  These take about 12 minutes to cook in the oven. I usually turn them after 9 minutes. But you will start to smell them being cooked and filling the kitchen with the wonderful aroma of fresh bread.

I had forgotten how much the whole family love fresh white soda bread. It also solved some school lunch box dilemmas.

This is a great recipe for variations here are some I make:

Soda bread pizza. Before you mix the dry & wet ingredients have the following ready to go. Your choice of tomato sauce, grated cheese, oregano. You can use a passata about 250ml, add salt, pepper, 1tsp mixed herbs, large crushed clove of garlic and  mix well. Otherwise I recommend Bunalun, Tomato and Vegetable Sauce is excellent and tastes pretty much like my homemade tomato sauce. As a rule I don’t buy ready made pasta sauces as I find them too sweet or too oily. For the cheese my kids prefer cheddar but for grown up pizza soft goats cheese has featured. Make the soda bread, roll out flat, place on a floured tin tray. Using a spoon cover the base with tomato sauce. Sprinkle grated cheese over and finally some oregano. Put in the oven and set the timer for 7 minutes. Turn the pizza and set for another five minutes. When cooked the smell is delicious and it lifts off the tray easily. Remove to a rack. Slice, serve and enjoy.
This is a great recipe for children’s parties and teenage hangout sessions.

Herby bread scones. Add 1 teaspoon of a mixed herbs into the dry ingredients and mix well then continue as above. Would be excellent severed with soup or some nice hard cheese like an Ardsallagh.

Olive flat bread. Add 2 tablespoons of sliced black olives into the weighed wet ingredients and mix well. Add to the dry and continue as above. Roll this out flat to fill the tray and bake in one piece as a tear and share bread or cut into squares. Start to check after six minutes.

Cheats focaccia. Roll the white soda bread out flat about 2cm think. Impress your thumb print on it and put sprigs of fresh rosemary into each. Sprinkle with sea salt flakes. Drizzle olive oil over the dough. Pop into the oven. I love this with a bowl of spinach soup.