You'd be hard pressed to find a soda bread recipe that isn't simple, but this a very basic recipe for it. Less than an hour after mixing together the dry ingredients you have a fresh loaf of bread, which is very satisfying. Whenever I make this, I break one of the cardinal rule of breadmaking and cut into it straight away, so the butter I spread on it melts with minimum persuasion.
Traditionally, you'd use use buttermilk to make soda bread. It's quite readily available in larger supermarkets, however you can substitute it for milk with about a teaspoon of lemon juice. Just squeeze the juice into the milk, stir and leave for about 10 minutes before using.
1 tsp fine salt
1 tsp caster sugar
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
200-300ml buttermilk or milk with lemon juice (see above)
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees centigrade, flour a baking sheet. Sift the dry ingredients together in a large bowl, stir to combine. Stir in the liquid- you may not need the full amount, but keep adding until you have a soft cohesive dough. Pat it gently into a ball- no kneading for this sort of bread- and place on the baking sheet. Make a large cross in the top with a sharp knife, and bake for around 40 minutes until the loaf is golden and sounds hollow when tapped on its underside.