Irish soda bread

    40 min

    Quick and simple to make, freshly baked soda bread tastes terrific. In the version here it’s made with half wholemeal flour to give it a delicious coarse texture and nutty flavour. It goes well with butter and jam for breakfast, or with soups and salads for lunch. Or wedges can be split for favourite sandwich fillings.

    206 people made this

    Serves: 8 

    • 250 g (8½ oz) plain white flour
    • 250 g (8½ oz) plain wholemeal flour, plus a little extra to sprinkle
    • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
    • ½ tsp salt
    • 300 ml (10 fl oz) buttermilk

    Prep:10min  ›  Cook:30min  ›  Ready in:40min 

    1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC (400ºF, gas mark 6). Sift the white and wholemeal flours, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a bowl, tipping in any bran left in the sieve.
    2. Make a well in the centre and pour in the buttermilk. With a wooden spoon, gradually stir the flour into the buttermilk to form a soft dough. Bring the dough together with your hands, then turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead lightly and briefly until it forms a smooth ball.
    3. Place the dough on a greased baking sheet and flatten it slightly to make a domed round loaf about 19 cm (7 1/2 in) in diameter. Using a sharp knife, cut a deep cross in the top of the loaf, cutting about halfway down into the dough. Sprinkle a little extra wholemeal flour over the top.
    4. Bake for about 30 minutes or until well risen and browned, and the bread sounds hollow when tapped on the base. (If it sounds moist and heavy, bake for a further 3–5 minutes and then test it again.)
    5. Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool completely. Serve the loaf on the day it is baked, as it becomes stale quickly, or toast it the following day.

    Each slice provides

    selenium, zinc * B1, B6, folate, calcium, copper

    Some more ideas

    If you can’t find buttermilk, you can use semi-skimmed milk instead and add it with 1 tbsp lemon juice. Alternatively, use semi-skimmed milk and sift 2 tsp cream of tartar with the flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt. * For caraway soda bread, add 1 tbsp caraway seeds at the end of step 1.

    Plus points

    Buttermilk provides useful amounts of vitamin B2, calcium and phosphorus. * Home-baked bread is delicious and inexpensive, and ideal for boosting the starchy carbohydrate content of any meal. Making your own bread also gives you control over the amount of salt you add, rather than eating commercial loaves which may have a high salt content.

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    Reviews in English (14)


    I am rubbish at cooking with yeast so to do a bread without yeast is a dream. The bread came out light and fluffy, rose as it should have and everyone enjoyed it. Will definitely be making this bread again!  -  18 Jul 2011


    YUM! This bread was a hit with everyone in the family! It went really well with the Guinness and Beef Stew and the Colcannon.  -  09 Mar 2012


    So easy, so delicious! Making this again tomorrow...  -  30 Dec 2011