Whole Roasted Garlic Soda Bread
what you need
1 bulb garlic
2 dsps olive oil
450g/1lb plain flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1-2 dsps olive oil
1 egg, lightly beaten
Makes one loaf
1Cut the top off the bulb of garlic and place it on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with the salt and the two dessertspoons olive oil. Roast in the oven at 200°C/Gas Mark 6 for 35-40 minutes, or until the garlic is soft and the pulp is easily squeezed out (roasting time will depend on the size of the bulb). Keep an eye on the garlic towards the end of cooking, as burnt garlic is bitter and inedible. Remove the garlic from the oven. Peel off the papery layers and mash the softened garlic with a fork.
2Sieve the flour, salt and baking soda into a bowl. Add the roasted garlic purée and the olive oil. Pour most of the buttermilk in at once and mix to a soft dough using either your hands or a spatula. Add more buttermilk as necessary.
3Turn the dough onto a floured board and knead gently so that it comes together without any cracks. Shape into a round (approximately 3-4cm/1¼-1½in deep) and score a cross on top. Brush with the egg and cook in the oven at 200°C/Gas Mark 6 for at least 20 minutes or until fully cooked.
4When ready, the bread should be golden brown in colour and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. Best eaten warm, fresh from the oven.
- As a variation, try Mediterranean soda bread: simply add 4-5 chopped sundried tomatoes and 25g/1oz toasted pine nuts -- or 1 dsp olive oil and 25g/1oz pitted black olives -- instead of roasted garlic.