Waitrose and Partners
The best soda bread

The best soda bread

Martha Collison makes homemade bread in under an hour – so simple and satisfying.

0 out of 5 stars(0) Rate this recipe
VegetarianHealthySource of fibre
  • Makes1
  • CourseSide
  • Prepare10 mins
  • Cook45 mins
  • Total time55 mins
  • Pluscooling

Please note, we take every care to ensure the product, allergen and recipe information displayed is correct. However, should a product be unavailable, alternatives may be displayed and/or a substitution provided. If you have an allergy or intolerance, please always check the product label before use.


  • 250g plain flour
  • 200g dark rye flour, plus a little to dust
  • 1 tsp fine salt
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 284ml Essential Buttermilk
  • 50ml milk, plus extra if needed
  • ½ tbsp clear honey
  • 1 tbsp black treacle


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C, gas mark 6 and place a baking tray into the oven to heat up. Combine the flours in a large mixing bowl, add the salt and bicarbonate of soda and stir together. Mix the buttermilk, milk, honey and treacle in a measuring jug and stir well.

  2. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients, then pour in the wet mixture. Use a round-bladed knife to stir together the mixture, gradually incorporating the flour to form a soft dough. You may need to add a little extra milk to mop up any remaining flour.

  3. Knead the dough briefly (overhandling it will make your loaf tough), then shape into a ball. Remove the baking tray from the oven and carefully place the dough onto the tray, then use a serrated knife to slash a deep cross on the top of the loaf. The slashes are important, as they allow the heat of the oven to penetrate right into the centre of the loaf to help it bake evenly. Dust the top with a little rye flour.

  4. Bake the loaf for 40-45 minutes, or until it is a deep, golden brown colour. If you tap the bottom of the loaf, it should sound hollow. Allow the loaf to cool for at least 15 minutes on a wire rack before serving warm with plenty of butter. Eat as soon as you can, as this bread tastes best fresh.

Cook’s tip

  • How to make homemade butter Nothing is better than warm soda bread and homemade butter. To make butter yourself, whip double cream until it looks curdled, then continue beating until it separates into butter and buttermilk. Squeeze all the liquid buttermilk from the butter by pressing firmly with a spatula, or squeeze through a cheesecloth. Use the buttermilk to make soda bread (top it up with yogurt if needed). Season the butter, then shape it and chill
  • Speed is of the essence Yeasted breads need lots of time to rise, but soda bread is quite the opposite. Once the wet and dry ingredients are mixed, the baking soda will react with the buttermilk and start creating bubbles that will leaven the bread. You need to bake it as soon as possible after mixing, for the lightest result.
  • No buttermilk? As an alternative, add a dash of lemon juice to milk, then leave to stand for 5 minutes as it thickens. You could also thin down natural yogurt or soured cream with milk and use.


Typical values per item when made using specific products in recipe


1,257kJ/ 297kcals



Saturated Fat












Book a slot to see product availability at your nearest Waitrose & Partners store

Rating details

Rate this recipe

Select your rating

Overall rating

No ratings for this recipe yet