Soda Bread: quick to make and great with soup or jam.

Having started to make our own butter we are left with a useful amount of buttermilk. This byproduct is ideal for making scones, replacing some of the milk used in the Yorkshire Pudding recipe or for making soda bread.

Soda bread is a traditional staple of Ireland and is a quick and easy bread to make. Due to not being leavened by yeast but by the reaction of the butter milk to the agents in the self raising flour and bicarbonate of soda, there is no delay or waiting for proving.

From start to finished, soda bread can be made in under 45 minutes.


  • 12oz self raising flour [you can use half self raising and half wholemeal or some other flour of your choice: experiment] 
  • 1/2 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
  • Salt, little or a lot depending on your taste.
  • 1/2 pint of buttermilk [ one litre of cream will produce over 1 lb of butter and over three-quarters of a pint of buttermilk]

Mix the flour, salt and bicarb in a bowl, there is no kneading, so the bowl does not have to be over large. Then add the buttermilk and stir with a knife [a palate knife is ideal].

Dry ingredients to make a soda bread High Blean B&B Askrigg

Dry ingredients ready for butter milk

The dough is meant to be wet but you will need to add some flour to be able to work the dough. The amount of extra flour will depend on how absorbent the flour is.

Now tip the dough out on to a work surface or straight onto an oven tray. Work the dough into a ball by dusting with flour until you are able to form a ball with your hands. I use semolina flour to ensure it does not stick to the work surface, as I use a pizza paddle to place it onto a hot stone in the oven.

Once you have formed a ball, press a sharp blade into the top, forming a cross, which makes four quarters. Don’t cut through, just press down, to form deep indentations into the dough.

Cross to bear!

Cross to bear!

Now get the dough into a hot oven and bake for about 35  minutes. This bread needs to be worked quickly, as the rise comes from the reaction of the alkaline bicarbonate and the acidic buttermilk, so the quicker the better.

You can add oats or seeds to the top or a dab of butter, though the bread comes out a deep golden colour without any additional topping.


Cool and enjoy with butter and jam or to accompany soup.

Soda bread on cooling wire tray at High Blean B&B Askrigg

Just chilling!


If you make one post a photo of yours.


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