A great soda bread is quite simple to make, but if time isn’t on your side, there’s the The Foods of Athenry, high-fibre wheaten mix kit from Ocado’s Irish shop. The contents are enough to make 2 x 1lb loaves or one 2lb loaf.
Empty the contents of the mix into a bowl or a food processor and add 450ml Buttermilk and mix well. If you want to make a dairy-free loaf, try a soya milk alternative or beat three eggs, add enough cold water to make up 450ml and add that to the dry mix.
If you want to jazz up your loaf, you may like to add sugar, honey or sweetener. For a softer, richer loaf add 2 dessert spoons of oil or melted butter when you add your liquid. For a richer loaf, crack an egg into a jug and make up the rest of the liquid measure to 450ml. If you want to give your loaf a signature addition, add a fistful of raisins, walnuts, chopped apricots, olives or a variety of seeds to the dry ingredients.
Grease and flour your loaf tin and spoon in the wet mixture, spreading evenly. Bang the tin down on a flat surface, using a tea towel underneath to prevent any marking (this should pop any air bubbles) and smooth the top with the back of a spoon. I added a small handful of sunflower seeds but you can top with oats, or reserve a little of the dry mix.
Bake in the centre of the oven for 45-50 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.
Remove from tin and cool on a wire tray.
Slather with lots of butter.