Quick and Easy Soda Bread Recipe

Updated on November 21, 2015
Gordon Hamilton profile image

Gordon loves cooking and experimenting with food. He loves making new dishes, particularly with unusual or under-used ingredients.

Freshly made, still warm soda bread with butter and jam
Freshly made, still warm soda bread with butter and jam

Soda bread is a type of bread made without the addition of yeast as a leavening agent. It is made instead using bicarbonate of soda and depends upon any one of a number of other potential ingredients to make the bread rise. There is a virtually endless variety of soda breads made around the world, some containing a lengthy list of sundry ingredients to give the breads extra visual appeal and flavours, either sweet or savoury.

This soda bread is very much of the traditional type, containing a minimal number of ingredients, keeping the cost of its production down and the time taken to prepare it to a minimum. It uses baking powder, which is a combination of bicarbonate of soda and the leavening agent cream of tartar. Its simplicity means that it is also the perfect accompaniment to a wide variety of other foodstuffs, from the simple butter and jam shown above, to cheeses, meats and pickles. Why not give it a go and see what tasty serving ideas you can come up with?

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4 stars from 3 ratings of this simple soda bread recipe
Measuring out the flour for making soda bread
Measuring out the flour for making soda bread

Cook Time

Prep time: 15 min

Cook time: 30 min

Ready in: 45 min

Yields: Approximately four servings

Ingredients

  • 1 pound strong white flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 5 fluid ounces natural yoghurt
  • 5 fluid ounces milk
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil (plus extra to grease baking sheet)

You should start out by getting your oven on to preheat to 400F/200C. As there is no resting time required when making the dough for soda bread, you can easily prepare the dough from start to finish in the time it takes the oven to heat. You should also lightly oil your baking tray. In this instance, the bread was baked on a medium sized pizza pan which is perfect for the purpose.

Flour, baking powder and salt for soda bread
Flour, baking powder and salt for soda bread

Add the flour, baking powder and salt to a large mixing bowl. Be sure to stir briefly with a wooden spoon to evenly combine and form a well in the centre of the bowl, in to which you will subsequently pour the wet ingredients.

Measuring out the yoghurt and milk for soda bread
Measuring out the yoghurt and milk for soda bread

Measure out the yoghurt and milk in a jug. Add the tablespoon of oil and stir briefly but well.

Milk, yoghurt and oil are added to a well made in the dry soda bread ingredients
Milk, yoghurt and oil are added to a well made in the dry soda bread ingredients

Pour the milk and yoghurt combination in to the flour. There is no substitute at this stage for hand mixing. Get your (spotlessly clean) hands in to the bowl and mix well until the flour is all combined in the dough like mix. You should also find that the dough largely ceases to stick to your hands when it is fully prepared.

Soda bread dough is rolled in to a ball and laid on baking sheet
Soda bread dough is rolled in to a ball and laid on baking sheet

Carefully roll the dough in to a large ball with your hands, trying to get the surface as smooth as possible. There is no need to be too fussy, however, as the bubbles that form in the bread as it cooks will crater the surface. Sit the ball of dough in the centre of your greased cooking tray or pizza pan.

Soda bread dough ball is gently flattened in to a mound
Soda bread dough ball is gently flattened in to a mound

Lightly flatten the dough on the tray, keeping it thicker near the centre for best presentation. It is optional at this stage to dust it with a little more flour. That was not done on this particular occasion.

Soda bread dough is deeply cut for baking
Soda bread dough is deeply cut for baking

Making two deep cuts (around halfway through) across the mound of dough is nothing to do with presentation. It simply helps ensure even cooking and that you don't have uncooked dough at the centre of your soda bread when the outsides are perfectly cooked. Bake the bread in your oven for about 25 to 30 minutes, just until lightly golden.

You can tell soda bread is ready by carefully inserting a metal skewer in to the thickest part. If the skewer meets minimal resistance and comes out clean, the bread is ready.

Soda bread is rested and cooled on a wire rack
Soda bread is rested and cooled on a wire rack

Lift the bread with a large spatula on to a wire rack. Do allow it at least ten minutes to cool, even when your intention is to eat it hot/warm.

Warm soda bread is broken by hand rather than cut with a knife
Warm soda bread is broken by hand rather than cut with a knife

If there is one negative about soda bread, it is that it does not store well. It really should be eaten on the day that it is made to be enjoyed at its best, or at least within twenty-four hours. Alternatively, you could of course slice and toast it the following day.

As a rustic foodstuff, soda bread is more often broken by hand as opposed to being cut with a knife. Below is a further simple yet delicious serving suggestion which sees a chunk of bread served simply with some cheddar cheese and mixed pickles.

Soda bread with cheese and assorted pickles
Soda bread with cheese and assorted pickles

Questions & Answers

    © 2014 Gordon Hamilton

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      • Gordon Hamilton profile imageAUTHOR

        Gordon Hamilton 

        4 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

        It really is as simple as it appears grand old lady - thanks for visiting and I hope you enjoy the bread!

      • grand old lady profile image

        Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 

        4 years ago from Philippines

        I'm a bread lover, and it's nice to know that there's a recipe as simple as this that I can do.

      • Gordon Hamilton profile imageAUTHOR

        Gordon Hamilton 

        4 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

        Thank you randomcreative. It really is so easy, versatile and delicious - I hope you enjoy it :)

      • randomcreative profile image

        Rose Clearfield 

        4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

        I have never made soda bread, but now I want to give it a try. As always, thanks for the detailed photos and instructions!

      • Gordon Hamilton profile imageAUTHOR

        Gordon Hamilton 

        4 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

        Thank you ratnaveera. Yes, it is very easy as well as delicious.

      • ratnaveera profile image

        ratnaveera 

        4 years ago from Cumbum

        Gordon Hamilton! Thank you so much for this wonderful Hub. It is really easy and quick to prepare Soda Bread. I enjoyed this Hub as you have added nice photos.

      • Gordon Hamilton profile imageAUTHOR

        Gordon Hamilton 

        4 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

        Hi, Adriennemarie and thanks for visiting. I'm sorry you never found a soda bread recipe when you were looking for one but hope this idea helps you out next time around.

      • Adriennemarie profile image

        Adrienne Lawton 

        4 years ago from Deptford, NJ

        This recipe looks delicious! I was looking for a good soda bread recipe to make a few days ago, but never found one that I liked and never got around to making the bread. I will have to try this one soon. Thank you for sharing!

      • Gordon Hamilton profile imageAUTHOR

        Gordon Hamilton 

        4 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

        Thank you, Audrey. Yes, this bread pretty much goes with anything that more conventional breads go with even though it is of course (texturally in particular) that bit different. I hope you enjoy it if you give it a try.

      • brakel2 profile image

        Audrey Selig 

        4 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

        Hi Gordon - This bread sounds easy to make. It may go well with any accompaniment, especially jam or jelly. I don't believe I have ever tasted it, but may go for it because of the simplicity. Your instructions and photos are very easy to follow. Thanks for sharing. Audrey

      • Gordon Hamilton profile imageAUTHOR

        Gordon Hamilton 

        4 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

        Ease of preparation is a huge plus with this type of bread, grand old lady. I hope you give it a go and enjoy it very much. Thanks for visiting.

      • grand old lady profile image

        Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 

        4 years ago from Philippines

        Sounds very tasty and less intimidating to make. I often shy away from making bread but this is a good one to have a try at.

      • Gordon Hamilton profile imageAUTHOR

        Gordon Hamilton 

        4 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

        I know that it almost seems too simple to be real Sally but it's not, I promise. Thanks for reading and I hope you get to give the idea a try some time.

      • sallybea profile image

        Sally Gulbrandsen 

        4 years ago from Norfolk

        GordonHamilton

        Simplicity in a bowl - how quick and easy is that! I love making bread but have never made soda bread. This would be well worth doing if you had no bread in the house and needed a quick loaf. Love the images and the quick and easy instructions.

        Thanks for sharing

        Sally

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