Young people on the Step Up programme attending cookery classes at Carrickfergus Cookery School, YMCA Carrickfergus, loved baking this amazing homemade soda bread. On the day, the students couldn’t wait to let it cool so they choose to eat it warm, straight from the oven, like a tear and share bread. The YMCA Cookery School will be opening its doors on Tuesday afternoons and evenings to the public for bookings, so check our schedule of classes on www.carrickymca.org or on www.facebook.com/CarrickfergusCookerySchool. Italian Passion is the theme for the first class, where you will learn to cook an authentic Italian risotto and a creamy silky pannacotta, all from scratch along with Arlene, cookery school tutor.
Cheese and herb soda bread
450g plain flour
5 teaspoons baking powder
75g butter, cut into small cubes
200g mature cheese cut into small cubes
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
A little grated parmesan
A few sprigs of thyme
1. Preheat the oven to 200°c, fan 180°c, gas 6.
2. Sieve the flour into a large mixing bowl with the baking powder and a good pinch of salt.
3. Rub the butter into the flour until it resembles fine breadcrumbs and then add the cubes of cheese and the chopped thyme.
4. Pour in the buttermilk and bring the ingredients together to form a quite firm dough.
5. Turn onto a well floured work surface and knead gently into a round about 20cm in diameter.
6. Lift onto a lightly floured baking sheet then score the dough deeply with a sharp knife into 8 wedges.
7. Grate a little parmesan over the surface and scatter with a few sprigs of thyme.
8. Bake for 40-45mins until golden brown and firm to touch. Allow to cool for a few minutes, and then slide carefully onto a cooling rack. Best served warm. For a change try goat’s cheese or herbs like fresh chives or rosemary.