Every so often I get asked if I'm Irish, then in my slightly posh-slightly West Country accent, I reply that I'm Scottish and it throws them slightly.
However, any Irish genes that stay from the time my ancestors crossed the sea to Scotland have left a slightly racist love of potatoes, soda bread and a good sing song.
It remains perculiarly hard to get good soda bread or soda farls in England. But its so quick and easy I never want to pay ludicrous prices for it again, It is quite possibly the easiest bread I've ever made, and for 21p a small loaf can be yours.
If you don't believe that butter milk is cheap you can get enough to make this recipe 3 times for 50p in Waitrose. That's right, Waitrose.
You will need:
250g self raising flour
100ml butter milk
Pinch of salt
1) Begin by sieving your flour and adding your salt into a mixing bowl.
2) Next create a small well in the middle of your flour and slowly pour in the butter milk stirring as you go.
3) when it's come together roughly, turn onto a floured surface and knead for a minute or so. It needs very little, and the trick is to work quickly so the buttermilk and raising agents in the flour can work in the oven.
4) Place on a baking tray and make a deep cross about 3/4 of the way down with a knife, brush with milk (I forgot the milk, yours will be more golden than that) and bake at gasmark 6 for about 30minutes until the bottom sounds hollow when you tap it.