Posts Tagged 'buttermilk'

Irish Soda Bread

Irish Soda Bread

This bread is made in homes all over Ireland. It uses bicarbonate of soda as a raising agent and the buttermilk gives it a subtle tang.


  • 450g plain flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 300-350ml buttermilk


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 230°C.
  2. Sift the flour, salt and bicarbonate of soda into a mixing bowl. Mix well with a fork to ensure the salt and bread soda are well incorporated into the flour.
  3. Add 300ml of buttermilk and mix through the flour. Add another 50ml if necessary. You want a soft dough, but nothing too wet and sticky.
  4. With floured hands, turn the dough out onto a floured board. Knead the dough into a round loaf but don’t overwork it.
  5. Place the dough on a buttered and floured baking sheet. Cut a cross in the top of the dough. According to legend, this allows the fairies to escape.  (No, I don’t believe it either…)
  6. Place the baking sheet in the centre of the oven for 15 minutes then turn the oven down to 200°C and cook for a further 25 minutes.
  7. Remove the bread from the oven and wrap in a tea towel and leave to cool slightly on a wire rack before cutting. Slice and serve coated with salty butter.

If you want to try another type of traditional Irish bread, try my Griddle Bread recipe. It’s much quicker to make and very moreish.


Irish Griddle Bread Recipe

Bread making doesn’t get any simpler than this. (Oh dear, I’m starting to sound like those clowns on Masterchef). Griddle bread, as it’s known in my house, is a simple soda bread dough, but instead of being cooked in the oven, you cook it slowly on a non-stick frying pan or a cast-iron “griddle”. This is quite a traditional bread and is a great standby when you haven’t a scrap of granary left in the house. One warning though, once you cut this loaf you’ll keep going back to it until you’ve none left. It’s addictive!

I like my griddle bread “well done”. Cook gently until the surface of the bread is starting to blacken in places. As the bread cools, it gives off the most amazing toasty aromas. There’s something about it that reminds me of cream crackers. Surely not a bad thing?

For a traditional Irish bread that’s baked in the oven, try my Irish Soda Bread recipe.



  • 2 cups self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • buttermilk, enough to make a very soft dough (about 250ml-300ml, as a guide)


Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl, then add the buttermilk and mix gently until you have a soft, wet dough, but be careful it is not too “sloppy”. Heat a dry frying pan, then turn down the heat low and dust the pan with plain flour. Wet your hands then add the doughto the pan. Gently smooth out the dough to cover the pan then cook slowly on both sides until brown patches start to develop. This should take at least 8 minutes on each side. Cool on a wire rack.

Coat with plenty of salty butter and enjoy, this is great with your Saturday morning fry-up.