You can add extra ingredients to the bread to customise it : currants, chocolate chips, cheese, herbs from your garden - whatever takes your fancy.
Buttermilk Soda Bread
450g Plain Flour
1 tsp Caster Sugar
1 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
Preheat your oven to 230c/Gas Mark 8
Sift all of the dry ingredients into a large bowl, make a well and add the buttermilk.
Using your hand like a claw, mix the flour and buttermilk together, adding a drop more buttermilk if the mixture is too dry. The dough should be soft, but not wet and sticky.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and form into a round about 3.5cm thick. Put the dough onto a baking sheet and cut a deep cross into it using a very sharp knife (this lets the fairies out!)
Bake for 15 minutes at 230c/Gas Mark 8, then reduce the temperature to 200c/Gas Mark 6 and bake for another 30 minutes. The bread should be golden and sound hollow when you tap the base. If you don't hear this sound, give it another 5 minutes.
Cool on a wire rack before covering in butter and devouring. If any of the bread survives the night, it makes excellent toast too.