Servings: About 12 slices per loaf Time: Roughly an hour Difficulty: Easy
A very tasty savoury loaf that’s ideal for breakfast (as well as other meals of course). Easy and quick to make too.
- 90g – 100g bacon (4 – 5 rashers)
- 450g plain white flour (not strong bread flour)
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 30g unsalted butter, diced & cold
- A handful of chives (about 30g – 40g)
- About 350ml buttermilk (If you have a little extra buttermilk save it for brushing over the loaf later.)
- Fry or grill the bacon until it starts to colour nicely. (Don’t let it go crispy) Cut it into small pieces and set aside to cool.
- Heat the oven to 220C/Fan 200C/425F/Gas 7.
- Sift the flour, bicarb. soda and salt into a large mixing bowl. Add the butter, taking care not to let the pieces all combine together. Rub the butter into the flour until the whole mixture looks like bread crumbs.
- Stir in the cooled bacon pieces and the chives. Make a well in the centre and pour in the buttermilk. Mix it all together to make a light, fairly sticky dough. If it looks a bit “rough & ready” don’t worry, that’s fine, it’s supposed to.
- Lightly dust your hands and the worktop with flour before turning out the dough. Shape it into a ball, kneading it only 3 – 4 times in the process.
- Put the ball of dough on a lined baking sheet and gently flatten it a little. Dip a large knife or a dough cutter into flour then use it to cut a deep cross in the dough ball, rocking the knife from side to side to open up the cuts a little. (Take care not to go all the way through the dough.)
- Sprinkle the dough lightly with flour. Or – as I prefer – brush the top with milk or any left over buttermilk then scatter over a handful of oats.
- Place in the heated oven and bake for about 30 – 35 minutes, until golden brown and it sounds hollow when tapped on the base. Place on a wire rack to cool fully.