Soda Bread


Don't confuse this bread with Irish soda bread, which is studded with raisins or currants. This one gets its name from the fact that baking soda is used as the leavener, instead of the more usual yeast or baking powder. It also is made moist with the addition of buttermilk instead of regular milk; here, you make your own version by mixing regular milk with lemon juice and allowing it to thicken and curdle and take on the qualities of the real deal.


  • 420 milliliters milk (for buttermilk)
  • 1/2 lemon (juice, for buttermilk)
  • 250 grams French bread flour (unleavened)
  • 250 grams whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda


  1. 1Pour the milk into a bowl and add the juice of 1/2 a lemon.
  2. 2Let stand for 10 minutes until it starts to curdle.
  3. 3In another bowl, combine the French-style bread flour, whole wheat flour, salt, and baking soda.
  4. 4Mix by hand to combine.
  5. 5Add the buttermilk and mix with a spoon in a circular motion, just until all the ingredients have blended.
  6. 6Preheat oven to 400°C.
  7. 7Sprinkle flour on your work surface and place the dough on top.
  8. 8Flour your hands, and form the dough into a ball.
  9. 9Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and dust with flour.
  10. 10Place the ball of dough on the baking sheet, sprinkle with the whole-wheat flour, and use a large knife to make to crosscuts on the bottom.
  11. 11Bake for 20 minutes without opening the oven door.
  12. 12Remove from oven and give the bread a pat. If it sounds hollow and feels crusty, the bread is ready. If not, bake a few more minutes.
  13. 13Serve warm with butter.
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