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Sunday, 18 March 2012

Irish Soda Bread

I think for my first post I have to give my recipe for brown bread.  This is the one I am most asked for and the one I have most morning for breakfast.  I started baking bread years ago, but only became a constant breadmaker when I had children.  I was concerned about the quality of every day white slices, and when one bread delivery man described it as "water standing up", I knew I could produce something better.

I like soda bread because it is so fast to make, no rising, no yeast, easily available ingredients.  I can make 8 loaves at a time and it freezes very well.  Beginners complain that my recipe is too big and it takes a strong arm to mix everything, but get stuck in and develop those muscles or else half the recipe!  Wimps!

Each recipe makes either 4 loaves or 4 'squares' of brown bread. I use Odlums Coarse Wholemeal flour and Odlums Plain Flour (Cream Flour is ok too)

1 lb Wholemeal Flour
1 1/2 lbs plain flour
2 level teaspoons bread soda
2 oz butter or marg (I use block of stork marg)
Two fistfulls of bran
One fistfull of wheatgerm
1 ltr of Buttermilk
(you can add a beaten egg if you like)

Sieve the plain flour and the breadsoda together. Add the wholemeal flour and mix lightly. Rub in the marg. Add the bran and wheatgerm. Add all the buttermilk in one go, without shaking out the carton too much as you will need the drop at the bottom to glaze your bread. Working quickly but gently, stirring from the outside in, get the mixture into a firm ball. Dont over mix and turn our onto a lightly floured board. Flatten onto a floured baking sheet, leaving it about two inches high. Cut a deep cross into the dough, effectivly cutting it into 4 squares, brush with some left over buttermilk and sprinkle with some sesame seeds. Bake at 200/210 for about 40/45 mins, turning around once (not turning it over) to ensure even baking.
Once cooked slide it off the tray and allow to cool on a baking tray. When cool cut into four 'squares'. It freezes very well.


  1. Hi Fionnuala

    Always room for another breadmaking blog!

    Soda bread is another versatile bread in that you can put pretty much anything in it!

    I look forward to seeing other variations of this on your blog.

    Best wishes, Paul

    1. Thanks Paul. I enjoy your blog too. Its all a habit. The more you bake, the better the results!

  2. I could have done with your soda bread recipe yesterday as I blogged my efforts at making this!

  3. A few points have come up on message boards (yes i talk about food constantly!). Lots of people have tried this recipe and had good results. There is no salt in this recipe as I don't feel it needs it. But I eat it with salted butter, so I guess that makes up for it. Add a teaspoon of salt to the recipe if you like. Here in Ireland, often sugar is added or a teaspoon of treacle, but I don't like sweet bread either, so I leave it out. Up to you!