500 grams Plain flour
2 teaspoons Bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon Salt
400 milliliters Buttermilk (or kefir or both)
1. Sift the flour and bicarbonate of soda into a large bowl and mix in the salt. Make a well in the centre and pour in the liquid (buttermilk or Kefir), stirring as you go. Work into a soft dough.
2. Tip on to a lightly floured work surface and knead lightly for about a minute until the dough pulls together into a loose ball. Do not knead much longer. The dough should not be elastic and smooth as with a conventional yeast-based dough. Shape into a round cob or ball (called boule) and cut a deep cross across the top with a sharp knife. The cut should go about half way through the loaf. Sprinkle with extra flour.
3. Bake in an oven preheated to 200°C for 40-45 minutes, until the loaf sounds hollow when tapped underneath. Leave to cool for a crunchy crust.