Saturday, 1 October 2011

Afternoon Tea Doesn't Always Have To Be Sweet !!

Instead of having something sweet for afternoon tea today I decided to make some soda bread - the easiest bread in the world to make!

The recipe was taken from The River Cottage Family Cookbook by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Fizz Carr and is a great book for children and adults alike.


A little olive oil for greasing the baking sheet
250g Plain Flour
1 level teaspoon salt
1 level teaspoon Bicarbonate of Soda
2 teaspoons of Soft Brown Sugar
225ml Live Yoghurt or Buttermilk (we used yoghurt)

Preheat the oven to 230C and then grease the baking sheet.

Sift the flour, salt and soda into a mixing bowl and then add the sugar.

Stir in the yoghurt or buttermilk at first with the wooden spoon then bringing it all together into a doughy mass with your hands (my daughter loves this bit).  It should feel firm, not sticky (I may have overdone the yoghurt because I had to add more flour at this stage because it was too sticky).

Knead the dough lightly in the bowl for about half a minute, until smooth, then shape it into a ball, as deep as you can make it.  Place it on the greased baking sheet.  Slash a deep cross in the top of the loaf with the sharp knife.  This will allow the bread to open out as the soda starts to work and expand the dough.

Bake in the hot oven for about 12 minutes, then turn the oven down to 200C and cook for another 15-20 minutes, until the base of the bread sounds hollow when you tap it.

We ate it with lots of salty butter and hot tea - mmmmmmm.

Next time I will make it with half wholemeal and half plain flour and add a tablespoon of porridge oats - as suggested in the book.


  1. I always use 1/2 wholemeal, it's wonderful with fish! I might try live yoghurt next time, I usually use buttermilk! (if you look on my recipes page you should find a link to my version)

  2. Thanks for that Jude - I've just had a look at your recipe and made a note of the ingredients - might try this tomorrow afternoon today's loaf has all gone!

  3. You could add dried fruit and call it railway cake, or try grateing a apple into it. lovely at this time of the year with blackberry jam.

  4. Cookie Jar that is a fabulous suggestion, particularly the apple and spreading it with blackberry jam. Thank you.