Garlic Boxty Bread

Boxty is a traditional Irish loaf. Here, I’ve made a garlic version with a slightly higher proportion of flour than usual to make it more bread-like. The crumb texture is soft and moist, while the crust is crunchy. This is a great bread to accompany soup.

Makes: One medium loaf, about 10 – 12 slices

Time: About 75 minutes

Level: Easy

Equipment: Nothing special is needed. A baking stone would be good, but not essential.

Ingredients

  • About 250g/9oz scrubbed potatoes (you’ll need 200g/7oz after mashing & grating them)
  • 3 – 5 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 250g/9oz plain (All-purpose) flour
  • teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt
  • 50g/1.75oz unsalted butter, melted
  • About 75ml/2.5fl oz buttermilk (or milk)

Method

1. At some point you need to preheat the oven to 210C / fan 190C / 400 F / Gas 6 and put in a baking sheet or baking stone to heat up. If your oven is slow to heat up, do it now, otherwise a bit later.

2. Boil half of the potatoes in slightly salted water until soft then mash them in a bowl. Coarsely grate the remainder (I don’t bother peeling them, but you can if you want.) then wring out as much moisture as possible, using a clean tea towel or kitchen paper. Combine all the potatoes and mix in the crushed garlic.

3. Mix the flour, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl. Stir the melted butter into the potatoes then stir this mixture into the flour.

4. Gradually mix in the milk until all the flour has been picked up from the bowl and a workable dough has formed.  Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead a few times until it’s well combined.

5. Shape the dough into a disc and cut a cross almost all the way through. Leave the dough to rest for 5 – 10 minutes.

6. Place it on the preheated sheet or baking stone and bake for about 40 – 45 minutes, until the loaf is a lovely golden brown.  Leave to cool on a wire rack before cutting.