Traditionally baked on a girdle, they can also be
First put on your girdle (or heavy frying pan) to heat to medium hot, smearing with a little oil.
Sift the flour and soda into a bowl with half a teaspoon of salt and the sugar. Make a well in the centre and add the egg, melted butter and enough buttermilk (or milk) to combine to a soft dough. Do not overwork.
Tip onto a floured board and, using floured hands (it is sticky) shape without kneading into a round about 22cm/8½in diameter. (It should be about 2cm/¾in thick). Using a floured knife, cut into quarters or sixths. Dust lightly with flour and transfer carefully to the hot girdle.
Cook for about 5 minutes (by which time they will have risen and have formed a fabulous brown crust underneath) then carefully flip each over. Continue to cook until done, on a lower heat. They are done when you press down lightly and there is no liquid oozing out of the sides; at this point the edges will be dry. It might take 15 minutes altogether, about 5 minutes for the first side and 8–10 minutes on the other. Transfer to a wire rack and serve warm.
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