|I used sage and thyme but any herb of your choice can be used.|
Sun-Dried Tomato and Fresh Herb Soda Bread
450g (1lb) plain white flour, preferably unbleached
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
60g semi sun-dried tomatoes
1 tbsp freshly chopped sage and thyme
400ml (14 fl oz) buttermilk
1. Preheat the oven to 230ºC/400ºF/Gas Mark 9.
2. Sift all the dry ingredients into a large, wide bowl, add the tomatoes and herbs and make a well in the centre. Pour in the milk. Using the fingers of one hand, stiff and oustretched like a claw, or using a fork stir from the centre to the edge of the bowl in concentric circles. The dough should be softish, but not too wet and sticky. When it all comes together, turn out on to a well-floured work surface.
3. Wash and dry your hands. Pat the dough into a tidy shape and flip over gently, then pat it into a round about 4cm (1 and 1/2 inches) thick. Gently transfer to a floured baking tray. Cut a deep cross into the loaf and prick the centre of each quarter to 'let the fairies out'.
4. Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 200ºC/370ºF/Gas Mark 6 and bake for a further 30 minutes or until cooked. If you are in doubt tap the bottom of the bread: it should sound hollow. Cool on a wire rack.