This bread gets its light texture and superb flavour from mixing Marriage’s Finest Plain white flour with buttermilk and bicarbonate of soda. For a sweet speckled bread add a tablespoon sugar and 100g dried fruit or chopped dark chocolate.
Preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F/Gas Mark 7.
Sieve the flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a bowl and make a well in the centre. Put the buttermilk into the well and mix it into the dry ingredients with a round-bladed knife, or your hands, to make a soft, slightly sticky rough-looking dough.
Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and shape it into a ball. Set the dough on the baking-sheet and gently flatten it so it is 3 to 4 cm high. Using a table knife, score the dough with a cross.
Dust with a little flour then bake for about 35 minutes until it is golden brown. To test if the loaf is cooked, tap underneath with your knuckles. If it sounds hollow it is ready, if it gives a dull thud, bake it for a few minutes longer and test again. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Best eaten warm the same day.