every year i look forward to winter,
wearing my pretty scarves,
sitting in front of a fire at night reading a book,
having a legitimate excuse to stay inside and stitch while it rains outside
and i enjoy the smell of freshly baked bread as it cooks.
this will be eaten with my lamb and beer casserole. :)
the recipe is very simple and is a river cottage recipe (i love hugh fearnley-whittingstall's cooking)
sift 500gms plain flour and 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda into a large bowl and stir in 1 tsp fine salt.
make a well in the centre and add in approx 400ml of buttermilk, stirring as you go, if you need you can add a tablesp of milk to help bring the mix together, it should form a soft dough, 'just this side of sticky'
tip it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead lightly for about 1 min. it doesn't need to be smooth and elastic like normal bread.
working quickly is good, you want to get the dough into the oven while the buttermilk is working with the bicarb of soda.
transfer the dough to a floured tray, dust it with flour and with a sharp knife cut a cross on the top of the dough. this allows the dough to expand.
bake in a pre-heated oven 200 degrees celsius for 40 - 45 mins until the loaf sounds hollow when tapped underneath.
if you want a crunchy crust cool on a wire rack, if not, cover while it cools.
nice eaten while warm, or left overs make great toast!
let me know how you get on!