This is probably the easiest bread I have ever made! The recipe is created by Lorraine Pascal, the presenter of "Baking Made Easy" on BBC2.
I like baking my own bread for two reasons; firstly it's a hundred times tastier than store bought bread, and secondly you can control exactly what goes in your bread. Bread from the supermarket usually contains lots of sugar, I find that really unnecessary. This recipe doesn't include any sugar or sweetener, and it's still delicious!
The best way to remove treacle from the tin is to run a tablespoon under a really hot tap for 10 seconds before dipping it into the treacle. This ensures the treacle runs easily off the spoon. (How beautiful is this treacle tin by the way!)
Make a large hole in the centre of the flour mixture and pour in the melted butter and treacle, plus enough of the buttermilk to make a loose sticky dough.
Tip the dough onto a lightly dusted work surface. The dough will be quite sticky. Knead the dough for one minute, then shape it into a large ball with a taut, smooth top. Place the dough on a baking tray and flatten it a bit - I find the easiest way to do this is with a rolling pin.
Take a wooden spoon, put some flour over the whole handle, then hold it horizontally over the bread. Put the wooden spoon handle on top of the bread then push it down until you feel the baking tray at the bottom. This mark is the first half of the trademark soda bread cross. Repeat with a line at right angles to this.
Dust with some flour then bake in the oven for 30–40 minutes, or until the bread is brown, has risen nicely and the dough inside where the cross was made is not damp. (Instead of dusting with flour I brushed the bread with a beaten egg and prinkled sesame seeds, poppy seeds and sunflower seeds on. I like seeds! :)