You'll find this delicious bread on the menu at Mulligan’s restaurant in Chippendale, Sydney. It's served with their entrees and soups. The Irish enjoy the taste of soda which is used as the raising agent in their breads and scones. If making scones, add the sugar: you won't need it for the bread. The St Patrick's Day Parade is being held on Sunday March 18th (trust the Irish!) this year, and is the biggest Irish event in the southern hemisphere.
Preheat oven to 190degC. Grease a baking tray with melted butter - or grease and line a 20cm - 22cm round cake tin for the bread.
In a large bowl, sift together the dry ingredients. Rub in the butter until mixture forms breadcrumbs. Make a well in the centre and pour in the buttermilk and enough of the Guinness to make a soft dough – the amount will depend on the strength of the flour. Mix well to incorporate all the flour then turn out onto a floured bench.
Roll dough out gently on a lightly floured benchtop into a thickish rectangle - don’t overwork it. Or you can roll it to fit the cake tin (as in the photo).
Transfer to the baking tray and cut into 12 – 16 squares. Brush tops with beaten egg and sprinkle over a little wholemeal flour. Bake 20 – 25 minutes or until golden on top. The bread may take longer - test for doneness with a skewer.