Irish Soda Bread

A classic Irish bread from Mary Berry. This inspired recipe is a must-try staple bread which combines bicarbonate of soda with yoghurt, milk and buttermilk.

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Soda bread is quick and easy to make, as it uses no yeast so does not have to rise. Porridge oats can be added to give the bread more texture. Simply replace 50g (2oz) of the flour with the same quantity of oats. Soda bread is best eaten on the day of making.


Oil, for greasing
450g (1lb) strong white flour
1 level tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 level tsp salt
300ml (½ pint) buttermilk or 150ml (¼ pint) milk and 150ml (¼ pint) natural yoghurt, mixed


Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/gas 6. Lightly grease a baking tray.

Measure the dry ingredients into a mixing bowl. Add the buttermilk (or milk and yoghurt mixture) and enough tepid water – about 6 tablespoons – to form a very soft dough.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and shape into a neat round about 18cm (7in) in diameter. Place on the prepared baking tray and make a shallow cross in the top with a sharp knife.

Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, then turn the bread upside-down and continue baking for 10–15 minutes or until the bread sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. Cool on a wire rack.


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