Traditional White Soda Bread & Spotted Dog from Ballymaloe House 

Ingredients (Makes one loaf):

450g (1lb, 31/2 cups) plain flour
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
300-600ml (1/2 - 1 pint, 1 1/4 - 2 1/2 cups) sour milk or buttermilk


Preheat the oven to 250deg C
Sieve the dry ingredients. Make a well in the centre.
Pour in all the milk at once. Using 1 hand, with your fingers stiff and outstretched
like a claw, stir in a full circular movement from the centre to the outside of the bowl
in ever-increasing circles. The dough should be softish, not too wet and sticky. When
it all comes together, turn it out onto a well-floured work surface. Wash and dry
your hands. Tidy it up and flip over gently. Pat the dough into a round, about 4cm

Cut a deep cross on the loaf and prick in the four corners.
Bake in the oven for 15 minutes then turn down to 200deg C for 30 minutes until
cooked. If you are in doubt, tap the bottom of the bread, when it is cooked it will
sound hollow. Cool on a wire rack.

Soda bread is best eaten on the day they are made but are still good for a day
or so more.

Spotted Dog:

Follow the recipe above adding: 1 dessertspoon of sugar 100g sultanas 1 egg Add the sugar and the sultanas with the flour and drop the egg in with the milk before mixing. Spotted Dog is also called railway cake in some parts of the country because it has 'a currant for each station’.

Stripy Cat:

Follow the spotted dog recipe replacing the sultanas with 75g of roughly chopped
best quality chocolate.


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