Delicious, crusty wholemeal bread in under 40 minutes? Yes it is possible! My Easy Wholemeal Soda Bread is amazing warm from the oven and perfect with soups and salads, or for taking on a picnic.
I really love soda bread. I like normal bread too, and I know it’s not that hard to make (as a kid my mum used to make homemade bread several times a week and I helped a lot!), but it is time consuming and, to tell the truth, I’m not the world’s biggest fan of kneading – I just don’t have the patience for it!
Soda bread, on the other hand, can be made in less than the time it takes normal bread to rise and involves NO KNEADING!!
The particular joy of soda bread is the large and very crusty crust – if you love crusty bread, you will LOVE soda bread!
It is perfect for popping in the oven with a stew, or making to go with soups or salads, or why not whip up a loaf of this Easy Wholemeal Soda Bread and take it on your next picnic? It’s also gorgeous with a little supper platter of cold meats, cheeses and olives (one of my all time favourite meals!). And if you do have any left the next day, it makes fabulous toast for breakfast!
I made this Easy Wholemeal Soda Bread to go with my Creamy Tomato and Roasted Red Pepper Soup, which I shared earlier this week, and it is a simply divine combination – plus it is a doddle to make the two together.
Simply make the bread and pop it in the oven, then get on with the soup. Pop the vegetables in the oven to roast and then you’ll have a good half an hour to read a book, drink a glass of wine or paint your nails (or, in real life, sort the kids/dog/cat out, do a load of laundry, answer your 57 new emails…), and then just remove the bread from the oven, finish off the soup in the blender and voila – a healthy homemade meal without the hassle…and all in under an hour!
Help – I can’t find buttermilk! What can I use instead?
Soda bread is not made with yeast, but rather it is traditionally made with buttermilk and bicarbonate of soda, (AKA baking soda) which help it rise (though not quite as much as a conventional loaf). Both buttermilk and bicarbonate of soda are usually readily from supermarkets these days, but if you are having trouble tracking down buttermilk, use the same quantity of regular milk with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice (apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar also work) stirred into the milk to sour it…it will work just fine! Alternatively you can use a 50/50 mixture of yogurt and milk in place of the buttermilk.
What about if I want to make this soda bread dairy free?
If you need this to be dairy free or vegan simply use your regular dairy free milk instead of the buttermilk, plus 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar.
Easy Wholemeal Soda Bread
- 350 g wholemeal flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (see notes)
- 285 ml buttermilk (for alternatives see notes)
Preheat your oven to 220C / 200C / gas mark 7 / 425F. Dust a baking tray (I actually use a pizza tray) with a little plain flour.
Mix all the dry ingredients together thoroughly. Tip in the buttermilk and stir to combine.
Keep stirring until the ingredients come together as a dough, then squidge together to form a ball.
Place the ball of dough on your baking tray and cut a deep cross in the centre. This is really important as it helps the centre of the bread to cook properly – so cut nice and deep, almost to the bottom.
If you wish, you can dust the loaf with a little flour, then place the bread in your preheated oven for 30 minutes.
Serve with soup, salad, or cheese, olives and cold meats.
(1) Instead of buttermilk you can use the same quantity of regular milk with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar stirred in to sour it. Alternatively you can use a 50/50 mixture of yogurt and milk.
(2) You can make this recipe dairy free / vegan by using dairy free milk instead of regular milk, plus 1 tablespoon lemon juice, apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar.
(3) Baking soda is the same as bicarbonate of soda, however it is not the same as baking powder. Make sure you use baking soda/bicarbonate of soda in this recipe. Baking powder will not give the same result!
Nutrition information is approximate and meant as a guideline only.
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