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Soda Bread

I first published this recipe on the blog 3 years ago, but in the time of the Coronavirus, I wanted to refresh it and update it as it is the perfect bread recipe to make at home as it is very few ingredients, really quick, and requires no kneading or proving and can be made in around 45 minutes. If you’re stuck home during the lockdown and need bread or just want to break the boredom by learning to bake, then this is the perfect starter recipe.

Soda Bread is a wonderful, filling bread that was actually made popular in Ireland through, not by choice, but by necessity due to a state of poverty in Ireland in the 1800’s which meant this bread was easy and inexpensive to make.

It really is a simple recipe to make as well. There are only five ingredients, and it requires barely any kneading and no time to prove at all, as the rising is made with the bicarbonate of soda reacting with the acidity of the lemon milk. You just mix up the ingredients and pop it in the oven. That’s it. Of course, it still needs a bit of finesse, but it’s a wonderful bread that is great with cheese, or I love it with butter while it’s still warm out of the oven. It’s traditionally a brown bread, but my preferred version is with half wholemeal flour and half white flour, or you could add grated cheese and onion to it, or even fruit. But we’re going with the more traditional version.

Soda Bread

Print Recipe
Serves: 12 Cooking Time: 35 mins


  • 500g Self-Raising Flour
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1½ tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
  • 400ml Milk
  • 1 Tbsp Lemon Juice



Preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan)/390°F/Gas Mark 6.


Firstly, pour the milk into a jug and add in the lemon juice. Leave for 10 minutes for the milk to curdle a little.


Put the flours, salt, and bicarbonate of soda into a bowl and mix together well.


Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients, and add half of the milk into the well.


Using a wooden spoon, pull the flour into the milk until it's starting to combine.


Continue to add the milk until you have a soft, sticky dough. Don't been too vigorous with the mixing. You may find you won't need all of the milk, depending on your flour.


Tip the dough onto a floured surface and very lightly gently shape it into a ball. You can lightly bring the dough together more, but don't knead it like you would a normal, yeasted bread.


Transfer the dough onto a lightly floured baking sheet or, preferably, a baking stone. Press the dough gently to flatten it slightly, but not too much.


Dust the top of the bread with four and, using a sharp knife, cut the dough into quarters but do not cut all the way through.


Bake in the oven for 35 minutes or until the loaf is nice and golden and hollow sounding when you tap the bottom.


The bread is best eaten within a day of baking. But it's also wonderful toasted a couple of days after baking.

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