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Thursday 3 June 2010

Baking for Beginners: Soda Bread

I'm on a bit of a baking kick at the moment. There's really nothing that beats the smell of a freshly baked loaf wafting out of the oven. Despite what you might think, making bread really isn't difficult, and there's something very satisfying about baking your own.

However, if you're feeling a bit lazy, you're in a last minute panic or you're a bread virgin, soda bread is a great recipe to have up your sleeve. Instead of using yeast to make the bread rise, soda bread uses bicarbonate of soda. This means it requires less kneading and it's much quicker to work with.

Soda Bread
You'll need:

  • 150g wholemeal flour
  • 150g plain flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 250ml buttermilk

Make it!

  • Preheat your oven to 200c / Gas 6. 
  • Sieve both flours into a bowl to remove any lumps. Add the salt and bicarbonate of soda.
  • Make a well in the centre of the flour and pour in the buttermilk. Mix it with one hand (in case the phone rings and you need a clean one!) until it comes together to form a dough.
  • Knead it a little.
  • Form the dough into a ball, put on a baking tray and bake for 30-40 minutes. It should have a nice brown crust and sound hollow if you tap it on the bottom when it's done.


  1. Just a tip: you can also use wholemilk bio yogurt as an alternative to buttermilk if it's unavailable.

    Soda bread is ACE!

  2. Nice tip Nibbsy! Buttermilk in some supermarkets but can sometimes be a bit tricky to find...

  3. Will be trying this tomorrow, definitely! A tip I learnt for using buttermilk was to mix low-fat milk with vinegar. The recipe I do that with is measured in cups, one cup of milk & 2 tsp vinegar.

  4. This looks great stuff - I am going to have a go :)

  5. I made it! Great stuff. Mine was a little soggy when turning it into dough, but a little bit of extra flour helped. Might have used a little too much bicard of soda though. It's tasting a bit like arm and hammer toothpaste...but still really soft and light. Love it!

  6. Tip-top! and SO fast!!

    Will be making again for sure, although will probably just use a pinch of salt rather than a teaspoonful.

  7. I can recommend mixing some parmesan type cheese, rosemary, and sage into the flour mix. Proper yummy.


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