Soda bread (ready to eat in less than one hour)

yum yum ready to eat in under an hour


9 oz whole meal flour (you can use white or spelt if that is all you have - don't worry about it!)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 teaspoons of brown sugar
8 fluid ounces of sour milk , or buttermilk or 1/2 plain yoghurt + 1/2 whole milk (in all cases, full fat is best)


1.  Heat the oven to 230 degrees centigrade before you even start to put the mixture together.  By the time you are finished mixing your oven will be warm.
2.  Mix the ingredients altogether and give the dough a good squash around with your hands as it is difficult to stir with a spoon.  The dough is very wet and this is a good thing as it makes much better bread.
3.  Either spoon the dough in a well greased loaf tin - about 3/4 full - or, with very wet hands, shape the dough into a round blob, put it on a baking sheet that you have lined with baking parchment and pat it into a disc.  If you are baking in a tin, use a wet knife and cut a deep channel all the way down the length of the loaf.  If you are baking as a blob, using a wet knife, cut an X into it at least  a couple of inches deep - in fact,  nearly to the bottom.
4.  Put the tin/tray in the oven at 230 for 10 minutes.  Then reduce the heat to 200 degrees and continue to bake for a further 15 minutes.  Take it out and give it a tap on the bottom.  If it sounds hollow it is done.  If it sounds like a dull, doughy thud, put it back in for another 5 minutes.
5. Soda bread does not keep so be prepared to eat it all at once.  This is not hard!

Variations:  Add raisins for a fruity loaf.  Add grated cheddar or crumbled stilton for a cheesy loaf.  Add some mixed seeds for a seedy loaf.  Use white flour, spelt flour, kamut flour or a mixture of flour for interesting variations!

9 Responses to “Soda bread (ready to eat in less than one hour)”

  1. Laurence McGibben

    08. Jan, 2012

    Dear Jane
    It was good to meet you at Charlie's, just before Christmas. Your advice re. Wheaten (soda) bread was spot on and has encouraged me keep at it; and the bread is gradually getting better each time.
    Good luck with all your plans,
    Best Wishes,

  2. virtuousbread

    10. Jan, 2012

    Hi Laurence! I am so very glad about that! Well done!

  3. Shona Kelly

    25. Oct, 2012

    Hi Jane,

    Just wanted to say I truly put this recipe to the test when a friend popped round for dinner the other night. I was home from work for 6:30pm and by 7:30pm my friend had arrived and we sat down to tuck into a lovely homemade soup with freshly baked soda bread. I made it with 100% wholegrain spelt flour and threw in some soaked seeds for good measure. I needed to add just a touch more buttermilk to get the right consistency but it was truly scrumptious so thank you.


  4. virtuousbread

    25. Oct, 2012

    Thank you so much! I am so very pleased that you put it to the test (and it passed!!!)

  5. Lucy

    27. Aug, 2013

    Hi Jane, just checking the temps are NOT fan ove temps?

    Thank you,


    P.s I did a great bread angel course in Newbury!

  6. virtuousbread

    27. Aug, 2013

    Not fan!

  7. Lucia

    27. Nov, 2014

    Would this work with rye flour?

  8. virtuousbread

    02. Dec, 2014

    Dear Lucia

    that is a great question and I do not know. You can try - you will need to increase the liquid content! Let us know.


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