Soda bread with herb and lemon butter

AT A GLANCE

  • Serves 8 people

  • 400 gm (1 2/3 cups) wholemeal flour
  • 50 gm (1/3 cup) plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 tbsp muscovado sugar
  • 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 250 ml (1 cup) buttermilk
  •  
  • Herb and lemon butter
  • 250 gm softened butter
  • 2 tbsp (firmly packed) flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped chives
  • Finely grated rind of 1 lemon
01   Preheat oven to 220C. Combine flours, sugar, bicarbonate of soda, and 1 tbsp sea salt in a large bowl, stir to combine and form a well in the centre, add buttermilk and 150ml water and gradually incorporate flour mixture with your hands to form a wet dough. Turn onto a floured surface, shape into a rough 22cm round, score a cross on top, scatter with flour, place on a lightly floured baking tray and bake for 15 minutes, then reduce oven to 180C and bake until bread is cooked through and sounds hollow when tapped (15-20 minutes). Cool on a wire rack. Soda bread will keep in an airtight container for 2 days.
02   Meanwhile, for herb and lemon butter, combine ingredients in a bowl, beat well, shape into a pat, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm but spreadable.
03   Serve soda bread with herb and lemon butter to the side.
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