8 oz. plain white flour, plus extra for light kneading
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. bicarbonate of soda
1 oz. butter, room temperature
10 fl. oz. buttermilk (or mix 5 fl oz. milk with 5 fl.oz. sour cream)
1 tbsp. rolled oats (optional)
Preheat oven to 200º Celsius and line a baking sheet with baking paper.
Mix together the flours, salt, and bicarbonate of soda in a large bowl. Next, rub in the butter with your fingertips until it resembles bread crumbs.
Make a well in the center and pour in 3/4 of the buttermilk. Use your hand bring the flour and liquid together. The dough should be quite soft, but not too sticky. Add more of the liquid if necessary to achieve the correct consistency.
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and gently bring the dough together into a round shape about 1 1/2 inches. Place on to the baking.
Score the bread by using a long sharp knife to cut a deep cross on top. The use the tip of the knife to poke a hole in the 4 corners of the bread. (In Irish folklore, this was done to release the fairies and stop them from cursing your beautiful bread).
Use a pastry brush to glaze the bread with the leftover buttermilk. Sprinkle the oats evenly on the top then baked for 15 minutes.
Reduce the heat to 180º Celsius and bake for a further 30 minutes more. When fully baked, the loaf will sound slightly hollow when tapped on the bottom.
Remove from the baking sheet and place on a wire rack to cool slightly. Slice and serve warm with butter.