Spotted dog

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November 21, 2013 by dgarnett2013

Spotted dog Railway Cake (enriched white soda bread): Forgotten Skills of Cooking by Darina Allen


  • 450g plain white (not strong) flour
  • 1 LEVEL tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 level tsp salt
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 75g sultanas (or more if you like)
  • 1 organic egg
  • about 425ml buttermilk


Preheat the oven to 220 degrees C.

In a large mixing bowl, sieve in the flour and bicarbonate of soda, then add the salt, sugar and sultanas.

Mix well by lifting the flour and fruit up in your hands and then letting them fall back into the bowl through your fingers. This adds more air and therefore more lightness to your finished bread.

Now make a well in the centre of the flour mixture.

Break the egg into the base of a measuring jug and add the buttermilk to the 425ml line (the egg is part of the liquid measurement). Pour most of this milk and egg mixture into the flour. Using one hand, with fingers in a claw shape, mix in a full circle, drawing in the flour mixture from the sides of the bowl, adding more milk if necessary. The dough should be softish, but not too wet and sticky.

The trick is not to over mix the dough. Mix it as quickly and gently as possible, thus keeping it light and airy. When the dough all comes together, turn it out onto a well-floured surface. Wash and dry your hands.

With floured fingers, roll the dough lightly for a few seconds – just enough to tidy it up. Then pat the sought into a round about 6cm deep. Transfer to a baking tray lightly dusted with flour.

Use a sharp knife to cut a deep cross on it, letting the cuts go over the sides of the bread. Prick with a knife in the four triangles.

Put into the oven and immediately reduce the temperature to 200 degrees. Cook for 35 – 40 mins. It should sound hollow when taped on the bottom.  The bread cooks at a lower temp. than soda bread because the egg browns faster at a higher heat.

Serve freshly baked with butter and jam. Also very good with Cheddar cheese.

Made the day of Evie’s birthday party.

choccake3 choccake5

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