Soda bread

Soda bread

How to Cook Bread
1 medium loaf
Peter Cassidy

Soda bread is best made on the day you are going to eat it, although leftover slices can be toasted or even made into breadcrumbs. It is perfect cut into wedges and served with lashings of salty butter.


Quantity Ingredient
250g plain flour, plus extra to dust
250g wholemeal flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
1 tablespoon caster sugar
50g butter
300-350ml buttermilk


  1. Heat the oven to 190°C. Lightly flour a large baking sheet.
  2. Sift the flours, salt, bicarbonate of soda and sugar into a large bowl and add back any bran still left in the sieve.
  3. Cut the butter into 1cm pieces and rub into the flour mixture with your fingertips, then briskly stir in just enough buttermilk to make a soft dough.
  4. Transfer the dough to the floured baking sheet and shape, with a minimum of handling, into a large disc about 4–5cm thick. With the floured handle of a wooden spoon, mark a 2cm deep cross on top, then lightly dust with flour.
  5. Bake in the oven for 35–45 minutes until the soda bread is risen, golden brown and with no greyness evident in the cross. Remove to a wire rack to cool.

A note on buttermilk...

  • If you cannot find buttermilk, use milk and add 2 tsp cream of tartar to the dry ingredients. Alternatively, add 2–3 tbsp lemon juice to ordinary milk and leave in a warm place for 10–15 minutes to sour the milk, which will provide enough acidity for the dough.


  • To make fruited white soda bread, use all white flour and add an extra 6 tbsp sugar to the flour, with 175g raisins or sultanas.
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