Heres one of my all time favourites. It never lasted more than five minutes once my Mum took it out of the oven.
4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup of brown sugar
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/2 stick of chilled unsalted butter cut into pieces
1 3/4 cups of buttermilk (I sometimes use regular milk it works well too)
2 tablespoons of treacle (I can't get treacle here in Canada so I use Molasses which tastes practicly the same)
Heat the oven to 425 F. Be careful to check on your bread as it cooks, because sometime if your oven heats quickly you can over cook the outside and leave the inside uncooked.
Combine all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix well. I sometimes throw in a handful of wheat germ at this point.
Then mix your milk and molasses until the molasses blends with the milk. Pour the milk and molasses into the dry ingredients and mix well. I find its best to do this by hand, be careful though cause its hellish stickey.
Spread some flour over a cookie sheet and then transfer your mixture to the sheet. Coat the entire mixture with flour it makes it easier to handle and knead the dough for a little bit. Form the dough into a round shape and mark the top with an X. This will allow you to break the bread into 4 farls after it is cooked. Bake for about 30 minutes untill golden brown. Check it from time to time by sticking a clean knife into it or a tooth pick. If the knife comes out with dough stuck to it cook the bread some more. The whole thing takes about 40 minutes from start to finish. Enjoy with a large mug of tea ala Big Mick and you'll have the most delicious start to the day. Its also good to eat with Irish stew, Let me know if you try it. Den