We do a big grocery shop every 3 to 4 weeks- and only get fresh veg and fruit in between. Do, by week 4 the cupboards are almost bare and you need your wits about you. On Sunday, after writing my column for the Independent, saw we had no bread. So much too late and much too tired I put together soda bread- which needs no time to rise and shoved it in the oven. Then sat down to watch House. Then smelt the bread cooking and thought it was done. So got it out. Looked great, deep dark brown- felt cooked. Sliced off a pit, buttered it and was in heaven. By slice number 3 I was reaching some soft stodgy swamp. The inside was uncooked. It looked so enticing on the outside, was like the best bread ever http://www.seekmedicine.com/ when deep down it was anything but. Like a treacherous man. So Monday have been trying to salvage bits and toast them. I know the recipe works. Moral of the story- don’t hurry bread. And don’t trust it when it smells and looks better than it should be after twenty minutes in the oven.   

Exceptionally good soda bread – made properly, otherwise disgustingly bad.
I use my food processor and dough hook. But strong hands are fine.

340 gm strong wholemeal bread flour
115 strong white bread flour
30 gm butter at room temperature
2 eggs
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp castor sugar
2 tbsp treacle
200 ml milk
150 ml yogurt
1 ½ tsp salt
Any nuts or seeds you want to throw in

Add the soda and salt to the flour and mix in butter with your fingers or in the food processor
Add all other ingredients and knead or turn in the machine. You may need to add flour or milk- but the dough should not be too soft- it needs to be stiff enough to handle.
Shape it- I like mine to be quite flat and oval
Bake in the oven 200 Celsius  or gas mark 6
It takes around 25 minutes no less.