Want to take soda bread to the next level? Add Guinness and treacle! This super easy Guinness and Treacle Bread has a delicious richness and depth that is so good it’s a little bit addictive. If you like Guinness, you’ll love this bread!
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Next Level Soda Bread!
If you have been following me for any length of time, you’ll know I love soda bread. I just love how quick and easy it is to make… and how you can get freshly baked bread in well under an hour, with no kneading or proving.
While I love the traditional version of soda bread, I also love playing around with different flours and flavours… and this Guinness and Treacle Soda Bread is definitely one of the best combinations I’ve tried so far. Adding Guinness and black treacle to soda bread gives it a subtle sweetness and a delicious richness and depth that is so good it’s a little bit addictive. This is definitely next level soda bread!
So easy to make!
This Guinness and Treacle Soda Bread might taste next level, but it’s still very easy to make!
All you need to do is mix together flour, oats, salt and baking soda. Then add buttermilk, Guinness and treacle, and stir to combine. Next bring the dough together into a ball, then place it on a baking tray. Flatten the ball a little and then cut a deep cross into it. Finally, sprinkle the loaf with oats and bake. Ideally, serve warm – straight out of the oven!
(Full recipe card below.)
What to serve soda bread with?
This Guinness and Treacle Soda Bread is delicious warm out of the oven, just as it is – or slathered with butter. It also goes especially well with soups and stews. It would make a wonderful accompaniment to a Traditional Irish Lamb Stew, and it’s also delicious with soups, such as:
- Spiced Carrot and Lentil Soup
- Easy Carrot and Coriander Soup
- Easy Peasy Vegetable Soup
- Easy Leek and Potato Soup
- Sweet Potato and Red Lentil Soup
- Easy Tomato and Red Lentil Soup
Alternatively, this soda bread is also wonderful with antipasti type foods, such as or cheese, olives and cold meats.
No buttermilk? No problem!
Traditionally, soda bread is made using buttermilk. But sometimes buttermilk can be hard to find.
If you can’t find buttermilk, I have a simple trick to make ‘fake’ buttermilk. Simply combine 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar and 200 ml milk (regular or plant-based). Use this in place of the buttermilk in the recipe below.
(You can also use white wine vinegar or lemon juice, in place of apple cider vinegar if you prefer.)
Use plain flour
One big mistake people make with soda bread is using the wrong flour. Soda bread should be made with plain flour NOT self-raising flour or bread flour. Using self-raising or bread flour will not give you a good result.
Baking soda vs bicarbonate of soda vs baking powder
You must use baking soda (AKA bicarbonate of soda) in soda bread. It is the reaction between the acid in the buttermilk and the baking soda that helps the soda bread to rise. DO NOT use baking powder, which is a different thing entirely!
Why cut a big cross in soda bread?
Because soda bread cooks quickly, if you don’t cut the big cross, you are likely to find the outside of the soda bread is cooked before the middle of the soda bread. Cutting a deep cross in the middle of the soda bread helps the heat to penetrate right to the centre of the bread really fast, so it cooks through properly.
So be brave and cut a really deep, clean cross – it should go almost to the bottom of the dough!
(Some people also do this for superstitious reasons, as they believe the cross in the top of the soda bread will let the fairies out and/or ward off evil and bring good luck.)
How long does soda bread keep?
Soda bread does not keep especially long (mostly because it is so delicious!) – it is best eaten on the day you make it. The day after it tastes OK, but is usually starting to go a little stale. If you do have some left over the next day, I suggest you toast it – toasted soda bread is delicious!
Can you freeze soda bread?
Absolutely! Soda bread freezes really well. Just make sure you freeze it on the day you bake it and that it is completely cool and well wrapped (wrapping should be airtight – e.g. a freezer bag) before putting it in the freezer. You can freeze it as a whole loaf or cut it into slices first. It will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months. Defrost at room temperature and either eat it at room temperature or toast it.
If you like this recipe…
…you might also like:
Guinness and Treacle Soda Bread
- 200 g plain wholemeal flour (see Note 1)
- 250 g plain white flour (see Note 1)
- 50 g oats plus extra for sprinkling
- 1½ teaspoons salt or to taste
- 1½ teaspoons baking soda e.g. THIS ONE (see Note 2)
- 285 ml buttermilk e.g. THIS ONE (See Note 3)
- 125 ml Guinness e.g. THIS ONE (or another brand of stout)
- 50 g black treacle e.g. THIS ONE
- Preheat your oven to 180C / 160C fan / gas mark 4 / 350F fan. Dust a non-stick baking tray with a little flour.
- In a large bowl, mix together thoroughly the two flours, 50g oats, salt and baking soda.
- Pour the buttermilk into the dry ingredients and stir to combine.
- Mix the Guinness and treacle together in a jug or separate bowl, until the treacle is well-dissolved into the Guinness. Pour this mixture into the dry ingredients and stir to combine.
- Bring the dough together into a ball using your hands. The dough should just come together into a ball, but shouldn’t be wet and sloppy. (If it doesn’t all come together, add an extra splash of Guinness. If it’s too wet and sloppy add a touch more flour.)
- Roll the dough into a ball and place on your prepared baking tray.
- Flatten the ball a little and then cut a deep cross into it. The cross should go almost to the base of the loaf – but not quite!
- Sprinkle the loaf with oats (optional, but it does look pretty!)
- Bake the loaf in your pre-heated oven for 35-40 minutes until cooked all the way through and golden on top.
- Ideally, serve warm – straight out of the oven!
- Be sure to use plain (all purpose) flour NOT bread flour or self-raising flour
- Be sure to use baking soda (which is the same as bicarbonate of soda) DO NOT use baking powder, which is a different thing entirely!
- If you cannot get hold of buttermilk you can make ‘fake’ buttermilk, using vinegar and milk instead. Simply combine 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar and 200 ml milk (regular or plant-based). Use this in place of the buttermilk in the recipe above.
- Suitable for freezing.
- Nutrition information is approximate and meant as a guideline only.
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*This blog post contains affiliate links, this means if you click on a link and go on to buy the product I recommend, I will get a small commission, but you will not be charged a penny more – thanks in advance!