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How to Make Brown Soda Bread: Step-by-Step Instructions With Pictures

Gabriel loves food and warm fresh bread is a favourite: lavishly layered with butter and served alongside homemade tomato soup.

Homemade Brown Soda Bread

Brown Soda Bread Recipe

Brown Soda Bread Recipe

Brown Soda Bread

Brown soda bread is a tasty traditional Irish bread that's very popular in Ireland, often served at breakfast time alongside another Irish favourite: The Ulster Fry. My favourite breakfast is poached eggs on lavishly buttered brown soda bread.

Many pubs and restaurants throughout the Emerald Isle serve delicious open sandwiches on this traditional bread: prawns in Marie Rose sauce, smoked salmon and caviar, crab with lemon mayonnaise, egg and cress, cream cheese and chives, roast chicken and coleslaw, honey glazed ham and mustard. And those are only a few of the delicious toppings you'll find paired with this delcious loaf.

Brown soda bread is a regular accompaniment to steaming bowls of homemade soup, breaded mushrooms, prawn cocktails, garlic muscles, cold cuts, ploughman's, cheese platters, and summer salads. The bread is sold in mammoth quantities from local stores to plush delis throughout the country.

There are numerous variations on traditional recipes. This particular variation is a favorite of mine. The ingredients are straight forward, and the method is delightfully easy. The texture is light and creamy—and the taste? Try it out for yourself and see.

Bake and Rate

Brown Soda Bread Recipe


  • 500 grams of wholemeal flour
  • 300 grams of plain white flour
  • 250 ml of natural yogurt
  • 500 ml of half fat milk
  • 1 tsp of bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp of salt (optional)

Baker's Tip:

  • Natural yogurt works the same way as buttermilk or sour milk; however, natural yogurt is cheaper and very often on sale when close to or past its sell by date. Don't worry if the date is a few days past its sell by date, it doesn't matter. Natural yogurt gives this bread a delightful smooth cream-like texture.
  • Using half-fat milk instead of full-fat helps add lightness to the bread without losing any of the taste. If you would rather use full-fat, go right ahead.


  1. Sieve the flours, bicarbonate of soda, and salt into a deep bowl.
  2. Add the yogurt and mix.
  3. Gradually add the milk, and mix to a soft, but not a wet, dough (all the milk may not be required).
  4. Turn the dough onto a floured surface.
  5. Knead the dough into a smooth, round shape (a few minutes of kneading will do).
  6. Using a sharp knife make a cross in the dough.
  7. Dust the top with a little flour.
  8. Place on a greased and floured baking sheet (or invest in an Irish soda bread dish, it works a treat being oven friendly).
  9. Bake in the oven at 220°C mark 6 for 25 to 30 minutes or until cooked through.
  10. Wrap the bread in a clean t-towel and remove to a wire tray to cool.

Baker's Tip:

The bread is cooked through when the bottom sounds hollow if lightly tapped with your knuckle. You can also insert a skewer: if it comes out clean, the bread is baked.

Step one: Tip the dough onto a floured surface, you want a soft, but not wet, dough.

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Step two: Knead for just a few minutes.


Step three: Form a smooth, round shape.


Step four: Dust with flour and make a cross. Bake for 25 to 30 mins.


Step five: Enjoy!

Now this is a perfect-looking loaf!

Now this is a perfect-looking loaf!

Try with Cheese and Pickle!

Versailte and deliciously good. Brown soda bread loves eggs, adores soup and delights with cheese and pickle.

Poached Eggs on Brown Soda Bread

Serving suggestion: Poached eggs on brown soda bread

Serving suggestion: Poached eggs on brown soda bread

Enjoy With Homemade Tomato Soup

This bread is perfect for any time during your day: enjoy with poached eggs for a lazy breakfast an easy lunch with sliced cheese and pickle or lavishly buttered with a warm bowl of soup. This bread is as versatile as my favorite tomato soup. I love to eat brown soda bread with hot tomato soup. My version combines as many different kinds of aromatic, savory tomatoes as you like and marries them with fresh garlic and herbaceous basil for a soup experience that you're not likely to forget anytime soon.

Brown Soda Bread With Cheese and Pickle

Serving suggestion: Brown soda bread with cheese and pickle

Serving suggestion: Brown soda bread with cheese and pickle

Quick Tips & Info

Freeze for a Rainy Day:

This particular brown soda bread freezes perfectly. Simply cut the bread into 4 (use the cross shape as a guide), and freeze in a freezer bag. Be sure to get all the air out before you seal it.

Leave the soda bread to defrost for a couple of hours or even overnight. Wrapping the soda bread in a clean t-towel will help keep it fresh and stop the bread from drying out.

The Calorie Low-Down:

An average quarter of this brown soda bread has only 700 calories.

A single slice will average 80 to 100 calories. All the ingredients used in this recipe are under 4% fat, meaning this is a low fat recipe. Most flours average 2% fat or less. Milk and natural yogurts average 2% or less.

Don't feel guilty indulging in this naturally low-fat, low-calorie, homemade tasty loaf. It's good for you.

© 2011 Gabriel Wilson

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