It’s time for another weekend bake – and, as a special treat for readers who aren’t users of grams and kilos, I’ve included cup measurements too. The original recipe was written in cups so I’ve done my own conversion into grams – I haven’t used an official chart (don’t trust them!) to do the conversion, I just weighed the amounts I was measuring in cups, so it should be pretty foolproof. This recipe makes 2 small loaves (I can fit them both on one baking sheet), which will serve 4-5 people each for a hearty breakfast, or 6 for a teatime treat. Soda bread is always best eaten on the day it is made, so freeze the second loaf, unless you are feeding a crowd! If you do have some left over, then it is still pretty good toasted the next day – just not as absolutely delicious as it is straight out of the oven.
Buttermilk is usually easily available in large supermarkets (near the cream usually!) – but if you don’t have any, I have found that a half and half mix of milk and yogurt are a good alternative. Another option is to sour some ordinary milk with (for this recipe) 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. And if you are vegan, or dairy-intolerant, here is some great advice for swapping out the buttermilk entirely.
Soda bread with oats and molasses
- 1 3/4 cups or 370g buttermilk
- 1/4 cup or 80g molasses (or treacle will do)
- 2 tbsp or 25g oil of your choice
- 1/2 cup or 50g rolled oats
- 1 cup or 150g currants or raisins
- 1 cup or 150g plain white flour
- 2 1/2 cups or 375g plain wholemeal flour
- 1 tsp baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tbsp caster sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- Preheat oven to 200C/Gas Mark 6 (a little less if you are using a fan oven) and line a baking sheet with baking parchment.
- Measure all the liquid ingredients into a bowl and whisk lightly together with a fork until the treacle is fully combined with the buttermilk
- Add the oats and the currants/raisins to the liquid ingredients and leave to soak whilst you measure out the other ingredients.
- Sieve the 2 different flours, the baking powder and baking soda (bicarbonate of soda) into a large bowl, then stir in the salt and sugar.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry, stir to roughly combine, then leave to stand for 5 minutes.
- Mix the dough and work briefly until the ingredients are properly combined, but don’t worry about getting the dough smooth as you would with other breads – the craggier the loaf, the better! You can add a little more flour or liquid if you need to at this stage – the dough needs to be easy to work and just the tiniest bit sticky.
- Divide into 2 balls and flatten so that they are about 8 inches in diameter. Place on the prepared baking sheet and slash both loaves with a cross, 3/4 inch deep.
- Bake for about 20 minutes, then reduce heat to Gas Mark 5 (190C) and bake for a further 25 minutes. Check after about 15 minutes – you might want to cover the top of the loaves with a sheet of foil if the crust is getting too dark. The loaves will feel firm when they are ready to come out of the oven.
- Remove from the oven and transfer straight to a wire rack to cool.
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