Soda bread

We play around with lots of different types of dough and love them all. This one in particular is great with a chunky soup, or dipped into creamy hummus, or pungent pesto…

Fresh from the garden: rosemary, parsley, sage
Recipe source: adapted from The Ballymaloe Bread Book by Tim Allen
Makes: 1 loaf


  • Bowls – large, small
  • Measures: jug, tablespoon, teaspoon
  • Mezzaluna
  • Chopping boards and knives
  • Sieve
  • Baking sheet
  • Serving plates

  • 450g plain flour
  • 1 level teaspoon salt
  • 1 level teaspoon bread soda (bicarb soda)
  • 1 tablespoon dried rosemary
  • 1 small handful each of sage and parsley
  • 400ml buttermilk

 What to do:

  • Heat up the oven to 230 degrees C.
  • Wash and spin dry the herbs and pick the leaves, discarding the stalks. Finely chop the leaves – you’ll need about 3 tablespoons’ worth.
  • Sieve the flour, salt and bread soda into a large, wide mixing bowl. Add the freshly chopped herbs to the dry ingredients and stir well.
  • Make a well in the centre. Pour most of the milk into the flour. Using one hand with the fingers open and stiff, mix in a full circle drawing in the flour from the sides of the bowl, adding more buttermilk if necessary. The dough should be softish, not too wet and sticky.
  • The trick with all soda breads is not to over-mix the dough. Mix the dough as quickly and as gently as possible, keeping it really light and airy. When the dough comes together, turn it out onto a well-floured work surface. Wash and dry your hands.
  • Gently roll the ball of dough around with floury hands for a few seconds, just enough to tidy up. Then pat it gently into a round, about 5 cm high.
  • Place the dough on a lightly floured baking sheet. With a sharp knife cut a deep cross in the middle of it, letting the cuts go over the sides of the bread. Then prick the four triangles with your knife: according to Irish folklore this will let the fairies out!
  • Put this into your preheated oven for 10 minutes, then turn the heat down to 200 degrees C for a further 25 minutes, or until cooked. When the bread is cooked it will sound hollow when tapped.
  • Leave to cool for a few minutes, then cut into slices or chunks and divide among your serving plates.

 Notes:What is bread soda? Which country do you think this recipe comes from? What other ingredients could you add to this bread? Where do fairies live?

Categories: Kitchen Garden, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Soda bread

  1. I love this kind of bread!

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