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Home made bread - no yeast Soda Bread

Popular in Ireland, the no yeast Soda Bread is a winner!

As simple as bread making is, sometimes there just isn’t time to do it for real because you want to be eating it in an hour not just getting round to putting it in the oven - or perhaps you forgot to buy more yeast last time you went shopping... :/ it’s OK, you are human after all.

Don't give up - times like these calls for soda bread instead! 


Soda bread relies on bicarbonate of soda instead of yeast to do the rising just like a cake, so it has a more crumbly cake-like texture compared to the elasticity of 'real' yeasty bread. It’s delicious dunked into some tasty soup though or for rustic chunky toast and definitely gets you out of dodge. 

The buttermilk in this recipe isn't just a fancy ingredient for flavour, although it does have a nice buttery flavour compared to regular milk, it is more acidic so activates the bicarb. If you don't have access to buttermilk you can use regular milk along with a teaspoon of lemon juice added instead to give it more acidity. This recipe is one reason to start making your own butter anyway...

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 *tip* As with any dough recipe make sure that your hands and rolling/kneading surface are squeaky clean and that any wedding rings etc have been stashed safely away (jewellery can harbour some nasty germs underneath, plus it’s fiddly business to have to scrub dried dough out from around any stones or cut patterns. You could even lose a stone in the mix if one was loose so it’s safer all round to just take it off!). I also make sure to have a bowl of warm soapy water ready to clean me up afterwards. See these gorgeous ring holders to keep your jewels safe whilst you work! >                                  



400g wholemeal flour

1tsp bicarbonate of soda

1tsp salt

1tsp sugar

300ml buttermilk / milk + 1tsp lemon juice



1. Combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl and turn the oven up high.

2. Add buttermilk and briefly knead to form dough.

3. Shape into a round and place on a greased baking sheet, sprinkle with flour and cut a cross into the top to allow for expansion. How smooth or rough you leave the surface depends on how much you like a strong crust.

 4. Bake on high for 15 mins before reducing the heat slightly and continuing for a further 30 mins. When cooked it should sound hollow when tapped.

5. Leave to cool on a wire rack as long as possible before slicing to allow the crumb to firm up. Soda bread has a naturally more cakey texture than regular bread so will always be crumbly.

Enjoy with a steaming bowl of soup!


We'd love to hear from you, let us know how you got on in the comments below!


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Sarah is an artist and writer with a lifetime interest in camping and survival techniques.

Living the #vanlife since before it was a hashtag and touring on two wheels with her husband Ryan, they have a wealth of camping and motorcycling knowledge to share, and know a thing or two about packing light! read more

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