Irish soda Bread

I made 2 of these last night and there is something about Irish Soda Bread I find quite irresistible. It is quick and easy to make and tastes heavenly with a bit of butter and jam.

Ingredients for 2 small loaves:

3 1/4 cup flour
2 cups ground oat flakes
1 tsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
3 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
2 cups and 4 Tbsp buttermilk

Preheat the oven to 475F. Use a baking stone if you have one and add a roasting pan to the bottom of the oven to make some steam later.

Ground the oat flakes in a blender until you have a mixture of oat flour and oat flakes. It takes just a few seconds. Blend all the dry ingredients together in a bowl and add the buttermilk. Stir until the dough comes together. Divide the dough into two, shape them into a ball, flatten them and push a dough scraper or a knife 2/3 down into the dough to shape a cross.

Bring a cup of water to boil. Slide the 2 loaves onto the hot baking stone using some semolina or cornmeal to prevent it from sticking. ( I prefer semolina because it does not add a different flavour.) Pour the boiling water into the pan on the bottom of your oven and shut the oven door quickly.

Bake for 15 minutes, then lower the temperature to 450F and bake for another 15 minutes.

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