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Soda Bread

by Justin Gellatly from Bread, Cake, Doughnut, Pudding

Justin Gellatly's traditional soda bread recipe is the perfect low-effort loaf; there's no yeast or kneading involved, so anyone can give it a go! If you don't have buttermilk in your fridge, simply add a tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar to any other milk and leave to sit for 5 minutes before using.

From the book


This bread uses bicarbonate of soda to rise, not yeast, and requires only a quick mix by hand and a very short resting time (5 minutes). It is a really quick bread to pull out of the bag and also has a great texture and crust and a beautiful flavour.

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250g coarse or standard strong wholemeal flour
250g self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting
80g coarse or medium oatmeal, plus a little extra for sprinkling
6g bicarbonate of soda
12g fine sea salt
12g soft light brown sugar
200g water
250ml buttermilk
1 tsp olive, rapeseed or vegetable oil


Suitable for freezing (cooked loaf)
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Proving/resting time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 35 minutes

Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/gas 6 and line a baking tray with baking paper.

Mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl, then add the water and buttermilk and mix together until a wet dough is formed.

Sprinkle over a little flour to help bring the dough together, then roll it into a ball and place on the prepared baking tray. rub the oil all over the top surface of the loaf and sprinkle with oatmeal. Cut a cross through the dough about a quarter of the way through and leave to rest for 5 minutes, then bake for 35 minutes.

Take out of the oven and put on a rack to cool. Serve with good mature Cheddar and some bread and butter pickles, or just with butter for breakfast.


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