Cook: 30-40 minutes Makes: 1 small loaf
250g plain white flour
250g plain wholemeal flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
About 400ml buttermilk (you could also use beer, or cider)
1. Prepare the Fire Pit by adding local charcoal. Light the Charcoal and using a metal oven thermometer placed in the fire pit aim for 200 degrees C.
2. Put the flours, salt and bicarbonate of soda into a large bowl and mix well. Make a well in the centre and pour in half the buttermilk. Using your fingers or a round-bladed knife, draw the flour into the buttermilk. Continue to add the buttermilk until all the flour has been absorbed and you have a sticky dough. You may not need all the buttermilk – it depends on the flour you use.
3. Tip the dough out on to a lightly floured surface, shape it into a ball and flatten it slightly with the palm of your hand. It is important to work quickly, as once the buttermilk is added it begins to react with the bicarbonate of soda.
4. Line the Dutch oven with baking parchment (it makes removing the loaf easier). Put the dough into your dutch oven. Mark into quarters with a large, sharp knife, cutting deeply through the loaf, almost but not quite through to the base. Dust the top with flour.
5. Rake all the coals out to the sides. Place the dutch oven into the centre of the fire pit, with a few hot coals on top of the oven and bake for 30 mins at 200 degrees C. Carefully remove coals and lid to check your loaf and if necessary give it a few more minutes.
When it is cooked remove Dutch oven from the fire pit. Eat on the day of baking – or toast it the next day.