Irish soda bread

Irish soda bread

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(99 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

  • kcal296
  • 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

    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

    Butter

    butt-err

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

  • 500ml buttermilk

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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Lee Causseaux's picture
Lee Causseaux
13th Nov, 2012
5.05
This is a very easy bread to make and the feedback from friends was very positive. It is one of the best tasting soda breads we have had. Next time I will reduce the amount of salt by just a tad bit.
goodfoodgoodfood
24th Oct, 2012
5.05
I made this using buttermilk and made it using natural yoghurt. I prefer the one made with the yoghurt plus its cheaper than buttermilk
charlotteparry
20th Oct, 2012
5.05
i have just tried mine lovley )i made my own buttermilk with milk and lemon juice and a drop of vinger x
mmclaugh
29th Sep, 2012
5.05
Excellent result for such an easy and quick recipe. Lovely thick crust and texture. Perfect accompaniment for soup or salad. Will be a family favourite I'm sure
giuliamazza1
26th Sep, 2012
5.05
Easy and delicious, it was my first attempt and very pleased with the result!
johnbackhouse
24th Sep, 2012
5.05
Excellent recipe and an extremely easy introduction to making soda bread.
squeaksquara's picture
squeaksquara
21st Sep, 2012
5.05
I'm lactose intolerant so for a substitute I used margarine, and lactose free milk with half a lemon squeezed into it, then left on the side for 5 or so mins to curdle. May sound strange to some of you but it worked perfectly and tasted exactly the same. My mixture was very runny though (maybe it isn't if you use buttermilk, not sure) so baked it in a pie tin which worked grand. I made this for my boyfriends dad when I went to stay with them in Ireland. His dad was born and has lived in Ireland his whole life, and said that was the nicest Soda bread he'd ever had. Fantastic recipe. So easy too!
arc01160
7th Sep, 2012
5.05
My grandmother is Irish and used to make this for us when we were kids. This recipe is very close to replicating that. I made buttermilk by adding lemon juice to warmed milk - worked fine. The mixture was VERY wet - seriously it was like porridge. I added axtra flour but I still ended up putting a big pile of gloop on the baking tray. It came out fine - a little more rustic looking than expected but at the end of the day the taste was great. Tip - don't put all of the milk in at once put 3/4 in and see how you go..........still a great recipe though will have anither go with less milk. Also I never remember seeing my grandmother put oats in the mixture but it worked just fine
trpengelly
3rd Sep, 2012
Amazing! Such a lovely, lovely bread. Have made many times and expect to make it many times to come :)
pjshaw
29th Aug, 2012
As there is no yeast to raise the loaf the production of carbon dioxide from the chemical reaction of bicarbonate of soda and acid ( citric acid from lemon juice, lactic acid from buttermilk or yoghurt or tartaric acid as cream of soda, or even a teaspoonful or two of vinegar) will have the same effect. This is an immediate chemical reaction and kneading will knock this gas out of the dough, so kneading is a no-no.With yeast the fungus will continue to grow so that kneading to elasticate the gluten of wheat flour will improve the texture of the crumb when compared with soda bread.

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