You don’t have to prove soda bread, so it’s quick and simple to make. This version, packed with chocolate and nuts, is an ideal treat for morning, with a cup of tea and a little butter.
- 80g blanched hazelnuts
- 1 large free-range egg
- 1 tablespoon semi-skimmed milk
- 500 g plain flour , plus extra for dusting
- 1 level teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 75 g quality dark chocolate chips (70%)
- 300 ml buttermilk
- 1 tablespoon oats
- Preheat the oven to 220ºC/425ºF/gas 7.
- Toast the hazelnuts in a dry frying pan over a medium heat until lightly golden, then crush with a pestle and mortar.
- Whisk the egg and milk in a small bowl. Sift the flour and bicarb into a large mixing bowl, then stir in half of the toasted nuts, the chocolate chips and a pinch of sea salt.
- Make a well in the middle and pour in the eggy milk, then mix in enough of the buttermilk to bring it together into a ball of dough.
- Knead on a floured surface for a few seconds, pat into a 15cm round and place on a non-stick baking tray.
- Cut a deep cross in the top, then scatter over the oats and remaining nuts.
- Bake for 40 minutes, reducing the oven to 200ºC/400ºF/gas 6 after 15 minutes. Turn the bread over and bake for 5 more minutes, or until it sounds hollow when the base is tapped. Enjoy while still warm.