• 1 ¾ cups whole wheat flour (fine or coarsely ground)
• 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
• 1 teaspoon of salt
• 1 teaspoon of baking soda
• 2 tablespoons butter, cold
• 1 egg
• 1 2/3 buttermilk (see how to make it here)
• 1 tablespoon of oats.
1. Preheat the oven to 425°F (215°C).
2. Mix together the flours, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl. Add the butter and rub into the flour mixture until it resembles breadcrumbs.
3. In a jug, whisk the egg and buttermilk together.
4. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and pour the liquid into the flour mixture.
5. Using an open hand, bring the flour and liquid together to form a loose dough. The dough should be soft, but not too sticky.
6. Turn onto a floured work surface and gently bring the dough together into a nice round shape. Then pat down the bread until it’s about 1½ inches thick.
7. Place on a baking sheet that has been dusted well with flour. Score the bread by blessing it with a deep cross on the top. Poke a hole in the 4 corners of the bread to release the fairies and stop them from cursing your beautiful bread (an Irish tradition).
8. Glaze the bread with the leftover remnants of the buttermilk and dust the top with rolled oats.
9. Bake for 15 minutes, then turn down the oven to 400°F (200°C) and bake for a further 30 minutes. When done, the loaf will sound slightly hollow when tapped on the bottom. Remove from the baking sheet and place on a wire rack to cool.