Soda bread

Serves: Makes 1 loaf - Time:

Soda bread

Making soda bread is almost child’s play and is the best place to start if you are a baking novice. You might guess by its name that the raising agent is bicarbonate of soda, so there is no lengthy proving time. In fact, once the liquid has been added to the flour time is of the essence, as bicarbonate needs immediate heat to start acting. I like a mixture of flours which gives a more complex flavour to the finished loaf. Soda bread is best served fresh but I don’t turn my nose up at a few days-old slices, toasted and served hot with lots of butter.



  • 225g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 125g strong wholemeal flour
  • 125g wholemeal spelt flour
  • Scant tablespoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons black treacle
  • 284ml pot buttermilk
  • 130ml milk
Soda bread


  1. Heat the oven to 220˚c, fan oven 200˚c, mark 7. Line a baking tray with non-stick baking parchment. Put all the flours in a mixing bowl and stir in the bicarbonate of soda and sea salt.
  2. Heat the tin of black treacle in the oven for a few minutes to make it more liquid and easier to measure. Make a well in the centre of the flour and pour in the treacle, buttermilk and milk. Mix everything together to form a sticky dough. Working quickly, knead on a floured surface three to four times. You are not looking for a smooth dough here-gnarly and bumpy is good.
  3. Shape the dough into an oval and place on the baking trauy. Make a deep cross with a serrated knife. Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes until the base sounds hollow when tapped. Cool on a wire rack and serve warm. 
Soda bread