In 2007, a routine blood test showed that I had coeliac disease. Panic set in as I sunk into obsessive thoughts about all of the foods I would not be able to enjoy. But as is my way I saw it as a challenge to use my skills as a baker to make the most delicious gluten-free baked goods and treats, such as this one. Months later, I found out that the initial diagnosis was incorrect, but I’ve continued to experiment with different flours and combinations.
Put the flour, oats, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a large bowl and mix together with a wooden spoon. Then add the egg yolks, treacle and cranberries. Make a well in the centre, then add enough of the buttermilk and mix to make a nice soft dough. You might not need all of the buttermilk, so just add enough so it comes together nicely and is not too wet.
Remove the baking sheet from the oven and sprinkle some flour over it, being careful as it will be hot. Get your hands in the bowl and bring the dough together with a couple of turns. Then turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and using your hands form the dough into a circle, about 18cm across and 5cm thick. Put the soda bread onto the heated baking sheet.
Being careful of the hot baking sheet, dip your wooden spoon into the bag of flour, and place it horizontally on the bread, pushing all the way down to the baking sheet to form the first half of the traditional cross. Change the direction of the spoon so it is at right angles to the other line and repeat this process to create a big cross. Take the extra oats and then sprinkle them over the top of the bread.
Once the bread is cooked, transfer it to a wire rack and leave to
© Lorraine Pascale, 2017. Images: © Myles New, 2017.