Traditional Irish Brown Soda Bread

“When I walk into my kitchen today, I am not alone. Whether we know it or not, none of us is. We bring fathers and mothers and kitchen tables, and every meal we have ever eaten. Food is never just food. It’s also a way of getting at something else: who we are, who we have been, and who we want to be”
Molly Wizenberg

When I happened upon the above quote in a cookbook recently it really made me think. I have a huge amount of childhood memories which are based around our kitchen table, from the Saturday evening fry complete with delicious fried bread, the Sunday roast with all the trimmings to the love it or hate it Dublin coddle. Food is such a central part of our lives and I love making the same memories for my children.

As soon as my hands started mixing the milk into the wheatmeal for this bread I was transported back 25 years to my mothers kitchen and the fold out table where she did all her baking. The smell of the flour and the buttermilk hasn’t changed in all that time and neither has the taste. Nothing like it!


450g wheatmeal
1/2 pint of buttermilk
2tsp baking soda
2tsp cream of tartar
1tsp salt

Preheat oven to 200 degrees
Put all dry ingredients into a bowl
Add milk and using a clawing motion combine well
Turn onto a floured surface and knead till smooth
Place on a baking tray and bake for 40 mins or until base sounds hollow when knocked

You may need to add a little extra liquid to combine fully, if too dry add liquid and if too wet add more flour. I love eating a thick slice of this with proper butter and some lovely sweet strawberry jam. It’s also great with soup, sausages, ham….enjoy!

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2 Responses to Traditional Irish Brown Soda Bread

  1. Yvonne says:

    Fried brown bread has to be one of the best foods ever! It’s now a Christmas Day breakfast tradition on our house.

  2. Amee says:

    Such a lovely post, Paula. And you are right, there is nothing like the taste of a homemade cake of brown bread.

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