On holiday in Southern Ireland last year, one of the highlights was breakfast each day with the accompaniment of fresh Irish soda bread. The inclusion of buttermilk and bicarbonate of soda as the raising agent seemed to settle in my tummy much better than 'yeasted' loaves and I have, of late, enjoyed making my own soda bread in a variety of flavours.
Today - using a Woman's Hour recipe - I produced a loaf using granary flour (a brown flour with malted wheat grains added for a distinctive nutty flavour). I bought the flour on a recent visit to Denver Windmill in Norfolk (http://www.denvermills.co.uk/) where it is home stone-milled, using local grains. Health-wise, granary flour, compared with wholemeal, has slightly less fibre but more folic acid. But, what the heck, I like the taste!
If I am sufficiently brave, and able to find a local course, my next adventure into bread baking will hopefully be sour dough (a loaf made with a natural fermented starter) and, like soda bread, does not need the inclusion of extra yeast.
However, back to today's bake, I think there is nothing better than a slice of freshly made granary soda bread accompanied by a good cheese - and it's equally good toasted with light, fluffy scrambled eggs on top - or perhaps spread with butter and home-made jam (a sweet treat when there's no cake in the cupboard).