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Cheddar and Chive Soda Bread
A quick and easy Irish style soda bread mix, flavoured with Cheddar cheese, chives and oats, shaped and baked into individual rolls, to serve and divide at the table.
- A little olive oil, for greasing
- 550g (1¼ lb) plain white flour, plus extra for dusting
- 50g (2oz) rolled oats, plus extra for sprinkling
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 rounded teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 100g (3 ½ oz) Cheddar cheese - coarsely grated
- 3 tablespoons chopped chives
- Approx. 575ml (19floz) buttermilk
- Preheat the oven to 230°C / Fan 210°C / 450°F / Gas 8.
- Brush the base and sides of the casserole with a little olive oil.
- Mix the flour, oats, salt and bicarbonate of soda together in a large mixing bowl. Stir in 50g (2oz) of the grated cheddar cheese and the chives.
- Make a well in the centre of the flour, add all but 1 tablespoon of the buttermilk and mix together until it comes together into soft, slightly sticky dough.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead very lightly and very briefly until it comes together into a ball. Divide the dough into 12 even -sized pieces (of about 100g / 4oz each). Gently shape each piece into a ball, then cut a deep cross into the top of each one, about half way down through the dough.
- Arrange the rolls side by side in the prepared casserole (8 around the outside edge and 4 in the centre). Lightly brush the surface of each roll with the remaining buttermilk , sprinkle with the remaining Cheddar cheese and a couple of tablespoons of the extra oats.
- Bake the rolls in the middle of the oven for 10 minutes, then lower the oven temperature to 200°C / Fan 180°C / 400°F / Gas 6 and bake them for a further 20 minutes, until richly golden, and when a skewer pushed into the centre of one roll comes away clean.
- Unlike other breads, this type of soda bread is best eaten as soon as possible after it is made.
- You can change the flavour of these rolls. Try coarsely chopped walnuts, or a mixture of seeds.