This is an Irish version of an Italian classic, but using some of our very best produce: wheat, spuds and dairy – what could be better?
The trick to getting a great soda dough is minimal handling. As soon as it comes together, take your hand out, shape the bread and get it into the oven as soon as possible. And don’t forget to be generous with the olive oil!... Read more.
Preheat the oven to 230°C (450°F), Gas mark 8. Place a large saucepan of water on to boil. When it boils, add the potato slices, then bring back up to the boil on a high heat. Boil the potatoes for just 1 minute, then drain carefully, so as not to break them up. Place the potatoes in a large bowl or on a tray and drizzle with 4 tablespoons of the olive oil and scatter over the rosemary, 1 teaspoon of the and the pepper. Mix gently, then set aside.
Now make the bread dough. Sift the flour, remaining salt and soda into a bowl, then make a well in the centre and pour in all the buttermilk. Using your hand outstretched to look like a claw, go around the sides of the bowl to bring the flour and liquid together. Don’t knead it or it will be tough. Stop mixing once it all comes together.
Oil a baking tray, or a large Swiss roll tin, with the remaining olive oil and lightly flour the worktop. Pat or roll out the dough on the worktop to a piece larger than an A4 sheet of paper. Transfer to the prepared tray and arrange the potatoes, rosemary and oil on top. Sprinkle with the cheese and bake for 25–35 minutes until golden and cooked in the centre.
Take out of the oven, then drizzle with a little more olive oil and allow to sit on the baking tray for 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool completely.
* Always ensure you accurately measure out your bread soda using measuring spoons
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