Soda Bread (Ready to Eat in Less than an Hour)


  • 9 oz whole meal flour (you can use white or spelt if that is all you have - don't worry about it!)

  • 1 tsb salt

  • 1 tsb bicarbonate of soda

  • 2 teaspoons of brown sugar

  • 8 fluid ounces of sour milk , or buttermilk or 1/2 plain yoghurt + 1/2 whole milk (in all cases, full fat is best)


1 Heat the oven to 230 degrees centigrade before you even start to put the mixture together. By the time you are finished mixing your oven will be warm.

2 Mix the ingredients altogether and give the dough a good squash around with your hands as it is difficult to stir with a spoon. The dough is very wet and this is a good thing as it makes much better bread.

3 Either spoon the dough in a well greased loaf tin - about 3/4 full - or, with very wet hands, shape the dough into a round blob, put it on a baking sheet that you have lined with baking parchment and pat it into a disc. If you are baking in a tin, use a wet knife and cut a deep channel all the way down the length of the loaf. If you are baking as a blob, using a wet knife, cut an X into it at least a couple of inches deep - in fact, nearly to the bottom.

4 Put the tin/tray in the oven at 230 for 10 minutes. Then reduce the heat to 200 degrees and continue to bake for a further 15 minutes. Take it out and give it a tap on the bottom. If it sounds hollow it is done. If it sounds like a dull, doughy thud, put it back in for another 5 minutes.

5 Soda bread does not keep so be prepared to eat it all at once. This is not hard!

6 Variations: Add raisins for a fruity loaf. Add grated cheddar or crumbled stilton for a cheesy loaf. Add some mixed seeds for a seedy loaf. Use white flour, spelt flour, kamut flour or a mixture of flour for interesting variations!