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Irish soda bread

Irish soda bread

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(92 ratings)

Takes 45-55 minutes

Easy

Makes 1 loaf
Get the taste of Ireland with this fresh, no-fuss soda bread

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition per slice

  • kcalories296
  • fat5g
  • saturates3g
  • carbs56g
  • sugars0g
  • fibre5g
  • protein11g
  • salt1.21g
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Ingredients

  • 250g plain white flour
  • 250g plain wholemeal flour
  • 100g porridge oats
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

    Bicarbonate of soda

    Bicarbonate of soda, or baking soda, is an alkali which is used to raise soda breads and full-…

  • 1 tsp salt
  • 25g butter, cut in pieces

    Butter

    butt-err

    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

  • 500ml buttermilk

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Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6/fan 180C and dust a baking sheet with flour. Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl, then rub in the butter. Pour in the buttermilk and mix it in quickly with a table knife, then bring the dough together very lightly with your fingertips (handle it very, very gently). Now shape it into a flat, round loaf measuring 20cm/8in in diameter.

  2. Put the loaf on the baking sheet and score a deep cross in the top. (Traditionally, this lets the fairies out, but it also helps the bread to cook through.) Bake for 30-35 minutes until the bottom of the loaf sounds hollow when tapped. If it isn’t ready after this time, turn it upside down on the baking sheet and bake for a few minutes more.

  3. Transfer to a wire rack, cover with a clean tea towel (this keeps the crust nice and soft) and leave to cool. To serve, break into quarters, then break or cut each quarter in half to make 8 wedges or slices – or simply slice across. Eat very fresh.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Comments (142)

Sally35's picture
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Great bread - all the taste, without yeast or having to prove the loaf! I added cracked black peppercorns in mine......next time adding chopped walnuts and feta cheese. Love the crust on this bread too. Ideal to go with a bowl of soup, just made celery and potato - so good.

vixvix's picture
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Very tasty and nice texture. Goes well with soup. Very easy to make.

aboyd's picture

Hi,
In Northern Ireland we call this Wheaten Bread.
Eventually found this recipe but maybe you should put "(Wheaten Bread)" beside the title to allow more people to find it :)

Going to try out this recipe next!

Jordannak's picture
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I and my family found this bread much too salty with the 1 tsp of salt. The bread itself was quick and easy to make, had a nice moist texture and went well with stew. It was a little bland so I would try adding herbs if I make it again.

superlambanana's picture
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Made this following the recipe exactly. Very good and delicious. Looks like on picture. Baked it for 40 minutes on a pizza stone on 180 (I have an oven thermometer), the last five minutes bottom up.

breadmakernew's picture

First time making this bread it was easy to make, it tasted great and lasted a week without drying out or going stale. I was able to get buttermilk from Tesco's and Asda, in asda look under the polish food section, i found it there or ask in store for buttermilk. I am unable to eat bread because of acid re-flux, but I was o.k with this bread I will be making this bread from now on to eat.

breadmakernew's picture

n well with soup

breadmakernew's picture

I made this bread the other day, it was easy to make and I was able to get all the ingredients. The bread lasted for a whole week without drying out or going stale. There are a lot of breads I cannot eat, owing to having stomach problems, acid re-flux I was able to eat this bread and I was o.k.

Mexiflor's picture

Second attempt better at first, probably not the recipe but my inexperience and having to substitute ingredients. I can't get buttermilk here (Mexican Caribbean) so I use natural yoghurt mixed with some milk, to combine all the floor I add a little more than 500 ml. I would like to try with soured milk, so I'm guessing lime juice would work as well as lemons, as I've never seen a lemon here in five years! Also I have no scales, just a measuring jug, so use cups and a guesstimate technique. But I do find I need to bake for about 40 mins. Lovely warm out of the oven with butter and a bowl of homemade soup!

fuegoynieve's picture

Hello,

I too lived in several places in Mexico. Never could find buttermilk. But using regular milk with 1 Tblsp vinegar - let it stand for about 15 min - should help you out.
If you live near Cancun you should be able to get there a scale at one of the larger supermarkets or costco or sam´s club. It works much better than cups for measurement.

Would love to be on the beach - though it is probably very hot right now.

sarahkdouglas's picture
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This is a really good recipe and so easy - I never imagined you could create a loaf of bread in, literally, minutes. After making it a few times I prefer it without the oats - I just substitute them with the same weight of flour. It's also really nice with some chopped walnuts thrown in. I'm going to try it with other additions soon - I'm thinking pine nuts and olives, and maybe some feta or other cheese. A sweet version with dried fruit and spices might be nice too... Oh, it also freezes really well. Really useful recipe!

Keith Towers's picture

I have made several loaves of soda bread now, using different recipes. I make my own yeast activated bread and that took a while to sort out a recipe and flour brand that works well for me. I have not tried this particular soda bread recipe, but I have just tried one from River Cottage website which I made with just 500g of white bread flour, 2 tsp of bicarbonate of soda, 1 teaspoon of fine sea salt, and 400ml of soured milk by adding 2 1/2 tbs of pure lemon juice to 400 mil of milk, whisking in and standing for 20 min. The dough was very sloppy with this recipe but cooked very nicely and I and my wife will be trying it tonight for tea. Although soda bread is as simple as throwing the ingredients together in a bowl, understanding the method of cooking and handling the dough is paramount for success. Enjoy!

Snoweider's picture

Made this for the first time yesterday, used milk soured with a bit of lemon juice and was absolutely delicious. Its a lot sloppier than the dough for my old recipe, but comes out much nicer. Will definitely be making again.

pollynotsosharpe's picture

this is wheaten bread not soda

keav.'s picture
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An excellent recipe, tried it many times! Lovely with carrot and coriander soup! I also add a a dessertspoon of honey and a dessertspoon of black treacle for extra sweetness and flavor.

Bigspottedcat's picture

OK - made this over 10 times now and have a few pointers for beginners:

1. Use a sieve for the flour and Bicarb

2. Baking Soda does not work as well as Bicarb

3. Throw the buttermilk all in one go - don't mix through in stages. Be QUICK

4. Mix rapidly with a knife and treat the dough gently

5. Lay it out thinly

Mine takes 45 min.

Mustardface's picture

Baking soda is the same thing as Bicarb. Bicarb is short for Bicarbonate of Soda. Did you mean baking powder?

ashley_lg_williams's picture
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I took a chance on the milk soured with lemon juice and wasn't confident that the sloppiest, roughest dough I have ever produced by any method, would do what it was supposed to in the oven - but it was absolutely wonderful. Looked a bit like a hedgehog, but toasted with some smoked cheese and onion relish it tasted heavenly!

fbexon's picture
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Made a few times now, always turns out well. This recipe produces very traditional tasting soda bread. Definitely recommended if you want a taste of Ireland, the shop bought stuff in the UK isn't nearly as good.

katychalmers's picture

I have made this recipe a few times and it always tastes greats, the only problem I have is when I put the buttermilk and stir it doesn't all seem to mix together has anyone else had this problem?

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Questions (2)

annewhitcombe's picture

This sounds delicious. Can't get buttermilk here so will try with yoghurt. Should I use sane quantity (500 ml) or a bit less for yoghurt? Thanks for any help.

Larsie's picture

Please convert to American ounces, love your recipes.

Lars in Florida

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