Widely acknowledged as the finest baker in Ireland, North or South, here is Robert Ditty's prized soda bread recipe for your St. Patrick's Day table. His shop is located in the village of Castledown in Derry, just outside of Belfast.
Robert Ditty's Irish soda bread recipe:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
4 cups white flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
Add 2 cups of buttermilk
currants, raisons or other dried fruit are optional
Knead for two minutes on lightly floured board
Shape into a round loaf
Place on a well-buttered, 8-inch pie pan and cut a cross along the top.
Bake 35-40 minutes.
Enjoy warm with butter.
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John Blanchette is a freelance travel writer, television producer and owns a public relations company in Santa Monica, California