Spelt Soda Bread

8 Sep

I’m  a fan of Soda Bread, some people aren’t. A bakery in Windsor once refused to sell me a loaf on the grounds that the assistant “didn’t understand why so many people liked it”.  I think fresh soda bread is a thing of beauty and it is one of the first things I cooked with my Mum who developed a taste for it living in Norther Ireland. Soda bread also has the advantage of being blinkin’ easy to make and quick to bake. This recipe uses half spelt flour which I picked up at Y Felin in St Dogmaels while I was away, and half white flour. It’s lovely stoneground organic flour and I got a tour of the mill with the miller himself so I hope it does the flour justice.

Makes 1 large loaf.


280g Spelt flour

280g white bread flour

1tsp bicarbonate of soda

1/2 tsp cream of tartar

Pinch of sea salt


400ml buttermilk or 400ml milk with juice of half a lemon added.


Pre heat oven to 230°. Sift the dry ingredients together in a bowl. Add the egg to the butter milk and whisk until combined. Make a well in the centre of the flour and add the buttermilk mixture, quickly combining into a rough dough, don’t hang around with this bit speed is of the essence. Shape the dough into a rough ball and place on a baking sheet. Cut a cross in the top to help it rise and quickly place in the oven. Bake for 20 minutes at 230°. Then turn the oven down to 200° and bake for a further 20 minutes or until the loaf sounds hollow when the base is tapped.

The end result should be a well risen loaf with a firm crust that is still soft inside. Soda bread is best eaten fresh, preferably with a little salted butter but, wrapped in a tea towel and kept cool this loaf kept well for a couple of days. Think you can’t make bread? Go on try this.



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