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Dill & poppy seed soda bread

Make this bread the day before you want to eat it.

preparation time 5 mins
Cooking time 30 mins


400ml milk
1 tbsp lemon juice
350g plain flour , plus extra for dusting
140g wholemeal flour
50g butter , straight from the fridge
1 tsp caster sugar
2 tsp salt
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
handful dill leaves
2 tbsp poppy seeds


1. Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6 and put a flat baking sheet in the oven to heat. Mix the milk with the lemon juice in a jug to sour it. tip the flours into a large bowl and rub in the butter with your fingertips until it resembles fine crumbs. stir in the remaining dry ingredients and dill (saving some of the poppy seeds for the top), then make a well in the centre and pour in 350ml of the soured milk. With your hand, or a wooden spoon, draw the dry ingredients into the wet to make a very soft, quite sticky dough. Add the rest of the liquid if you need to. Be careful not to overwork the dough as this will make your loaf tough.

2. Lightly flour the work surface and tip the dough onto it. With well-floured hands, roughly shape into a round, then turn the dough over to reveal its smoother side. sprinkle a little flour over the hot baking sheet, then lift the dough onto it. Press down slightly, giving a flattened, roundish loaf about two fingertips deep.

3. Using a sharp, non-serrated knife, slash a cross deeply into the top of the dough. scatter with the rest of the poppy seeds, then bake for 25-30 mins until well risen and deep golden. give it a tap on the bottom - it should sound hollow. Cool for a few mins, then transfer to a wire rack. to serve, cut into quarters along the lines of the cross, then slice and lightly toast.

Nutrition per serving
148 kcalories, protein 4g, carbohydrate 25g, fat 4 g, saturated fat 2g, fibre 2g, salt 1.14 g

Recipe from Good Food magazine, October 2006.

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