225g (8oz) wholemeal flour
225g (8oz) plain flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
50g (2oz) mixed seeds, such as sesame, pumpkin or sunflower, or golden linseeds (optional)
25g (1oz) butter (optional)
375-400ml (13-14fl oz) Buttermilk
1. Preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F), Gas mark 7.
2. Sift together the flours, salt and bicarbonate of soda in a large bowl and mix with the seeds (if using). Add the butter (if using), and rub into the flour mixture with your fingertips until it resembles breadcrumbs. Make a well in the centre.
3. In another bowl, whisk the egg with the buttermilk and pour most of the liquid into the flour mixture. Using one hand with your fingers outstretched like a claw, bring the flour and liquid together, adding more buttermilk if necessary. The dough should be quite soft, but not too sticky.
4. Turn onto a floured work surface, and gently bring it together into a round about 4cm (1½in) deep. Cut a deep cross on top
5. Place on a baking tray and bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, then turn down the heat to 200°C (400°F), Gas mark 6 and cook for 30 minutes more. When cooked, the loaf will sound slightly hollow when tapped on the base. Allow to cool on a wire rack.