Our Mam used to make this bread for us and it would all be eaten before it got a chance to cool. I used to love it with cream cheese on top. Absolutely gorgeous! I’m not eating meat anymore so Elaine was flying the flag for this one!
450g plain flour
1 tsp caster sugar
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp salt
400ml of buttermilk
- Preheat oven to 230°C (Gas 8) Fan
- Sift the flour, caster sugar, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a large bowl and make a well in the centre.
- Cut bacon into small pieces and fry in a hot pan until crispy. Pour into a measuring jug including any fat from the pan. Pour in the buttermilk and bring up to the 400ml mark.
- Pour in most of the milk to the well in mixing bowl. Using one hand with fingers open and stiff mix in a full circle drawing in the flour from the sides of the bowl, adding the remaining milk in parts until you have a dough which is softish but not too wet and sticky. You can use more milk if necessary.
- The trick is not to over-mix the dough. Mix it as quickly and gently as possible keeping it really light and airy. When it all comes together into a ball turn it out onto a well floured surface. Wash and dry your hands
- Gently roll the ball around with floury hands and tidy up. Pat gently into a round 5cm/2inch in height circle.
- Place on a lightly floured baking paper sheet on an oven tray. With a sharp knife cut a deep cross in it letting the cuts go over the sides of the bread. Prick the four quadrants with a knife (to let the fairies out!)
- Put into the preheated over for 10 mins. Then lower to 200°C for a further 25mins or until cooked. You will know when it is cooked as it will sound hollow when you tap the base. Enjoy!