Wholemeal soda bread

Wholemeal soda bread

This is a very quick, tasty bread and there’s no fuss or waiting around for doughs to rise. The quality of the bread will rely on the flour you buy, so go for stoneground versions. This is always best eaten on the days it’s made but will keep for two days under wraps. Serve with soups and cured fish.

Makes 1 loaf
225g plain flour, plus more to dust
225g wholemeal flour
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
1tsp sea salt
50g oats
1tbsp honey
1tbsp sunflower oil
400ml buttermilk

Large mixing bowl
Baking sheet
Sharp knife
Wire rack


Sift the flours, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a large mixing bowl.
Stir in the oats.
Flour the baking sheet.

Preheat the oven to 220ºC.425ºF/gas mark 7
Stir together the honey, oil and buttermilk.
Make a well in the centre of the flour and oat mixture and pour in the honey mixture. Start to bring the flour mixture gently into the well.
Now make a claw shape with your hand and, in firm circular motions, bring the dough together quickly and briskly (the less handling the better for this style of loaf).
Place on a floured surface and, without kneading, shape the dough into a neat round.
Lift it on to the floured baking sheet. Cut a deep cross into the dough, across the whole diameter to help with an even bake and insert a sharp knife into each quarter for the same purpose.
Bake in the centre of the oven for 15 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 200ºC/400ºF/gas mark 6 and bake for a further 20 minutes.
Tap the bottom of the loaf; it should sound hollow.
Return to the oven upside down to bake for a final five minutes. Remove to a wire rack to cool.
Eat as soon as possible.