Up The Mountain Soda Bread

7 Aug

Time to get the butter out of the fridge...

When Big Man and I went to Dublin at the end of last year, one of the things we really enjoyed eating was Soda Bread.  It´s a staple they serve with bowls of fish soup (and lots of other things too), it really filled you up on what was a very wet and windy November weekend.

This morning, bread man let me down, but I didn´t mind too much as I had been looking for a reason to use up the whey (or maybe it´s called something else) which came off the yogurt and cream cheese I had made the day before.

I turned to the BBC Good Food Website for a recipe.  I like this site because people like you and me cook the recipes and then give their feedback about what worked and what didn´t.  They´re usually pretty reliable recipes too, and the first one that popped up had 5 stars, so I thought I´d give it a go.

Ingredients called for were:

250g plain flour

250g whole meal flour

100g oats

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1 tsp salt

25g butter

500 ml of buttermilk

I substituted my whey for the buttermilk and found that I only needed about 400ml, so add your liquid gradually – much will depend on the absorbency of your flour.

Heat the oven to 180ºC and flour a flat baking tray. Mix the dry ingredients together and then gradually add the liquid until you have a soft and not too wet dough.

Shape it into a round and put in the baking tray then cut a cross in the top. Supposedly this is to let the fairies out (so sweet) but actually helps rising.  And leaves you with lots of little good spirits flying round your kitchen of course!

All the fairies have been let out...

Bake for about 30-35 minutes until the bottom sounds hollow when tapped then leave to cool on a baking tray.  I confess, I love this smothered in creamy butter (I don´t eat it very often here, so I feel justified) but it´s just as delicious on its own.

When we were in Ireland, we were also told that if you see a lone tree in the middle of a field, it´s very magical, a fairy tree and brings good fortune.  If I stand on my roof terrace and look across to the field next to our house, we have a fairy tree all our own…so here´s a snap of it.  Am surrounded by the little people today it seems!

Away with the fairies today....!


46 Responses to “Up The Mountain Soda Bread”

  1. Food,Photography & France August 7, 2011 at 12:13 #

    I just love the view from the roof – it is magical. With regard to lone trees – I think the fairies own photographic societies because lone trees make up about 90% of their output. Soda bread on the other hand is truly magical – delicious and simple to make. In my previous life I spent a very high proportion of my time taking pictures for BBC Good Food Magazine.

    • chicaandaluza August 7, 2011 at 14:18 #

      Thse cheeky fairies! It was a very good soda bread recipe, I have to say. Did you get to eat the food you photogrpahed or had it been coated in all sorts of things to make it look sexy and then stood around for hours and hours under hot lights?

  2. thefooddoctor August 7, 2011 at 12:58 #

    Oh my daughter is obscessed with fairies..I have to tell her the story about the tree.
    I have been meaning to try soda bread for sometime..thank you for providing a tried and tested recipe for it 🙂

    • chicaandaluza August 7, 2011 at 14:19 #

      it´s true…and we should all believe in a little bit of magic, shouldn´t we?! It was a delicious soda bread and kept well for a few days.

  3. fatisrecipes August 7, 2011 at 13:01 #

    Oooohhh beaauuuttiifulll!!! 😀

  4. Rachel August 7, 2011 at 13:47 #

    That is one lovely loaf of bread. And what a good use for the whey… great idea! I think you take today’s “andthenmakesoup” prize (if there were such a thing – perhaps I should initiate it) for “clever use of seeming waste product”! And what a view… I think I’d spend all my time on the roof!

    • chicaandaluza August 7, 2011 at 14:21 #

      Between dogs, chickens and leftovers which get turned into “tapas” very little goes to waste here! I humbly accept the non existent prize with great pleasure 🙂

  5. foodblogandthedog August 7, 2011 at 14:42 #

    I’ve always wanted to try soda bread because you don’t have to do all that waiting and proving! And I’ve always wondered why I was drawn to lonely trees, now I know, it’s the fairies!!

    • chicaandaluza August 7, 2011 at 15:57 #

      It´s a quick one to do – and oh so good! And those cheeky little fairies….they get everywhere 🙂

  6. thecompletecookbook August 7, 2011 at 14:55 #

    The oats must add a lovely texture and flavour to this bread – I would take a slice of that with a healthy lashing of butter and go find me a lone tree in a field.
    Have a happy day.
    🙂 Mandy

    • chicaandaluza August 7, 2011 at 15:57 #

      You can come and sit under my tree any day and I´ll bring you out the bread!

  7. Tandy August 7, 2011 at 15:50 #

    bread is not the same without butter! May the fairies bring you much joy 🙂

  8. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide August 7, 2011 at 17:12 #

    I love it. Katherine always asks me to take photos of lone trees in fields. She thinks they’re pretty. I also love that you have a bread man. I had long hours a few weeks back and make bruschetta and gazpacho on consecutive nights, but had no time to do a starter. Katherine spent $8 for two loaves of bread. And one was subpar. Anyway, I love this recipe too and I’m rambling! Great tree photo.

    • chicaandaluza August 7, 2011 at 17:26 #

      There is something rather special about lone trees. The other morning I woke up early (which is unusual for me!) and the tree was standing in a field of mist…I took another snap but it didn´t really do the scene justice. Can´t believe what you had to pay for bread…mind you, I used to pay that in London too and sometimes it disappointed. Hey, real life and work sometimes gets in the way – there´s no avoiding it!

  9. Michi August 7, 2011 at 22:07 #

    Adorable, I’m going to add little crosses to everything I bake from now on. 🙂 The soda bread sounds delicious, will have to try some!

    • chicaandaluza August 7, 2011 at 22:44 #

      It´s so lovely isn´t it?! Bet you´d get double the fairies if you put crosses in your fairy cakes 🙂

  10. trevorhunt August 7, 2011 at 22:38 #

    The bread looks and smells great from here Tanya.
    Here are a few other bread superstitions l found:

    * Make a cross on your dough to let the devil out.
    *Cut bread at both ends and the devil will fly over the house.
    *A paste of bread, pepper and crushed garlic, applied to the face, relieves toothache.
    * If a boy takes the last piece of bread from the plate, he’ll have to kiss the cook.
    *To burn bread can mean that a preacher is coming or that your sweetheart is angry with you.
    *Leave bread and coffee under a house to prevent ghosts from calling.
    * Eating bread baked by a woman whose maiden name is the same as her married name is a cure for many illnesses.
    *If all the bread is eaten at the table, the next day is sure to be fair.
    *Sin-eating was carried out at a funeral, when the sin-eater would eat a loaf of bread and by doing so took the sins of the dead person upon himself.
    *Sailors formerly took a hot cross bun to sea to prevent shipwreck and farmers kept one or two in their granaries as a protection against rats

    I’ll let you know of any others in the future! I went to my local bakers in the village this morning and got my hands on some real yeast. Will be baking tomorrow. I’ll let you know how it goes but the past few bakes l have added a tray of boiling water in the bottom of the oven whilst baking and it has really improved the bread. Give it a go.

    • chicaandaluza August 7, 2011 at 22:48 #

      Love, love, love these! The thing about the woman whose maiden name is the same as her married name made me smile as a lot of Big Man´s nephews and nieces have the two surnames which is typical, but they are both the same names as both parents´ fathers had the same first name….no wonder we have so much sunshine! Thanks for letting me know all these lovely superstitions….am just off to put some bread and coffee under the house

  11. ChgoJohn August 7, 2011 at 23:15 #

    I love soda bread and this recipe sounds delicious! I don’t make yogurt but I do make cream cheese, goat cheese, mozzarella, and ricotta. Using the whey for bread making is a good use for something that I’d normally just throw away. Thanks for the recipe and the great idea.

    • chicaandaluza August 7, 2011 at 23:47 #

      I am heading over to your site to see if you have any posts about the cheeses you make – have only ever managed the cream cheese and a curd cheese. But yes, it´s a great way to use the whey (!)…mind you, my chickens love bread soaked in it, so they lose out 😦

      • ChgoJohn August 8, 2011 at 00:09 #

        The only cheese recipe listed so far is for ricotta but, trust me, it’s a good one. I had looked into the equipment needed to convert an old fridge in my cellar into a temperature controlled climate, as one would need to make, say, parmesan or cheddar. It’s probably a good thing it died before I did anything more; I would’ve hated to lose a wheel of parmesan

      • chicaandaluza August 8, 2011 at 14:52 #

        ooh – very nice. We can´t get heavy creame here, so I do it without, but yours sounds much nicer! Best that you didn´t risk the parmesan 😦

  12. JamieAnne August 8, 2011 at 04:48 #


  13. TheDorsetFinca August 8, 2011 at 08:02 #

    That bread looks too good! I agree with you about the BBC good food website. The reviews and ratings for each dish really help you to decide whether something is worth making!

    • chicaandaluza August 8, 2011 at 14:55 #

      I like that you get “real” feedback and ideas from people about how they adapt the recipe,or how many people it really feeds!

  14. Irma August 8, 2011 at 11:24 #

    I’ve just discovered your blog!
    My name is Irma and I’m a Spaniard living in Scotland. I made this soda bread recipe a while ago and it turned out great, really rich and tasty but by that time I haven’t started my blog yet. A few weeks ago I made another loaf using another recipe (thinking it was the same one) and it was just ok, I didn’t understand why the bread it wasn’t as good as the first one. When I came across with your post I realized I had been using the wrong recipe!!!

    • chicaandaluza August 8, 2011 at 15:01 #

      ¡Hola Irma y bienvenida a mi blog! Good to have you here…my what a change for you from Spain to Scotland. Mind you, Scotland is gorgeous, but I love the heat so am happy here in Andalucía! Do give this recipe a go…it works beautifully. ¡Suerte!

  15. spicegirlfla August 8, 2011 at 15:54 #

    Aw, what a sweet post! I love the fairy theory! I have to remember that little story when baking soda bread and spotting lone trees! It seems like I only bake soda bread for St. Patty’s Day and now reading this, I just don’t know why I don’t more often!

    • chicaandaluza August 8, 2011 at 17:40 #

      Thank you! And don´t wait for 17th March to make this …any day is soda bread day!

  16. tinkerbelle86 August 9, 2011 at 18:17 #

    that looks delicious!

  17. Fired Up Cooking SA August 11, 2011 at 11:46 #

    Oh now I feel like baking bread, sob, ‘cos I can’t eat it… 😦

    • chicaandaluza August 11, 2011 at 13:54 #

      Oh what a shame – I don´t eat loads of bread, but what I do eat I thoroughly enjoy. So sorry for you 😦

  18. ambrosiana August 12, 2011 at 11:46 #

    Beautiful post! I have never had soda bread in my life! I am going to give it a try!! there is nothing like making your own bread so this time you benefited from your bread man letting you down!


    • chicaandaluza August 12, 2011 at 15:40 #

      It´s not like regular bread – softer and more crumbly. Becuase it´s so quick to make, you can have a play around with making it!

  19. Patrick December 3, 2011 at 19:53 #

    Many Thanks for this recipe, I lived in Wicklow and the Dublin for a while and regularly made soda bread. I perfected my ideal recipe and then lost it. I have wanted to make some since we got to Spain but was stumped in obtaining buttermilk. I did try to make it but used long life milk and it did not work. Recently I obtained fresh milk so I gave it another go (400ml milk – juice of 1/2 a lemon) it curdled immediately and separated. Not exactly buttermilk – I had cottage cheese and whey. So I sent google off in search of the possibility of substituting whey for buttermilk in soda bread. Came up trumps with this recipe, amazingly it worked and is possibly the best I have ever made. I am so pleased to have soda bread on the table again. ♥♥♥ Patrick – Galizano – Spain

    • Chica Andaluza December 4, 2011 at 10:27 #

      Hi there Patrick and thank you so very much for your lovely, lovely comment. Am so pleased you had success with this recipe – it´s always worked well for me! Lidl in Spain sometimes sells buttermilk if that helps, but I prefer it made this way. Do come back and visit the site again soon! Un saudo, Tanya

  20. Grosir Bros July 14, 2016 at 08:54 #

    yummy.. it looks niice…

  21. seminar ACLS August 24, 2016 at 06:34 #

    I love this recipe and your article always make me want to cook


  1. Roasted Tomato Tart with Chard and Home Made Curd Cheese | Chica Andaluza - August 22, 2011

    […] in salt to taste and you´re done! Don´t forget to save that whey for making soda bread. Lovely Curd […]

  2. Down By The Sea Soda Bread | Chica Andaluza - September 4, 2015

    […] making, once again, but the recipe usually calls for buttermilk. This recipe is different from my Up The Mountain Soda Bread as it does not include oats or butter. Try both and see which one you […]

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