An easy bread to make.


  • 450 g plain flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 400 ml buttermilk
  • butter (to serve)


  • This is the bread that is traditionally made at home. When unexpected guests show up and there’s nothing in the house I make it into scones by adding a teaspoon of caster sugar and baking at the higher temperature of 220°C (450°F/Gas 7) for about 15 minutes. For times like this; when the cupboard is bare of buttermilk, sour ordinary milk with the juice of half a lemon.
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4).
  • Mix the flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt in a bowl.
  • Make a well in the centre.
  • Pour all of the buttermilk in. Using a large spoon, gently and quickly stir the liquid into the flour. It should be soft but not sticky.
  • Place in a 900g/2lb non-stick loaf tin and bake for 45 minutes until the loaf sounds hollow when turned out of the tin and tapped.
  • Place on a wire rack to cool.
  • Eat within hours cut into slices with butter or freeze.
  • For Brown Soda Bread:
  • For a light, brown mix use about three-quarters plain flour with one-quarter coarse stoneground wholemeal.
  • Add one to two tablespoons of pinhead oatmeal or very finely chopped nuts or seeds to the mix before adding the buttermilk.
  • You can also experiment by adding a handful of bran or wheatgerm or both, just be prepared to slightly increase the quantity of buttermilk.