Authentic Irish soda bread seems to be a matter of debate. Many American recipes call for eggs, caraway seeds and raisins (or currants) and produce loaves much like tea cake. Other recipes add potato flour or rolled oats, yielding the exact opposite – much heartier loaves without a hint of sweetness. This recipe aims for the latter, producing a heavy salt free bread with a good crust, lovely toasted with or without butter.
Yields one small loaf.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a baking sheet and set aside.
Measure the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl and whisk well to combine. Add the buttermilk and stir, first using a spoon, then your hands. Gather the dough up with your hands into a ball, place on a floured surface and knead very briefly, just to smooth dough and incorporate ingredients fully. Shape into a round loaf and place on the prepared baking sheet. Score an X on the top of the loaf using a sharp knife, then gently sift flour over top.
Place baking sheet on the middle rack in the oven and bake 45 minutes to 1 hour. Remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool. Cool fully before slicing and serving.