River Cottage soda bread {+ a video!}



Let’s start this week out with a simple loaf of bread. Proper bread- the good stuff- homemade, with a dark crackly crust and soft, tender crumb.

Soda bread is something of a revelation to me. I’d never tried it before making it down at River Cottage a couple of weeks back, and it has to be the easiest bread going. No kneading necessary to create flavour and structure (bicarbonate of soda plus some live yoghurt or buttermilk take care of all that for us), and it’s as delicious as it is quick to put together. I made this loaf a couple of days ago, and it’s still going strong as toasting-bread now! Soda bread has this amazing ability to taste intensely savoury and salty when served plain (and eaten with butter and other savoury toppings) and yet as soon as it’s smothered in jam or something equally sweet, its rich, dairy flavour comes out and it tastes almost cake-y! It’s kind of like a two-for-the-price-of-one recipe, and there’s nothing I love more than that!

The lovely folk at River Cottage have said that I can share their soda bread recipe here on Cider with Rosie, and I’m so very glad because it really is too good a recipe not to share! I must tell you, whilst we’re on the subject of bread, that all of the bread-making techniques I learnt down at River Cottage have been life-changing! We try to be quite moderate about how much bread we eat at home, and so I like to try and make from scratch any bread we do eat because we really want to make it count. This pizza here was made according to the techniques we were taught at River Cottage, and Jason categorically stated that it was the best pizza I’d ever made! And I’m certain I’ve tested pretty much every ‘best ever pizza dough’ recipe going and had Jason act as guinea pig for all of them, so that man knows his stuff!


Now, let me tell you the recipe for this beautiful soda bread! I’ve made a little video to go along with the recipe, so do give it a watch to see a step-by-step for how to make this most simple and heart-warming of loaves.

500g plain white flour {plus a little extra for dusting}
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp table salt
400ml buttermilk or live, whole fat yoghurt {plus a couple of extra tbsp milk if necessary}

- Preheat the oven on to 200 degrees celsius, and place a tray into the oven to heat up.

- Measure out 500 grams of plain white flour into a large bowl, then add in the 2 teaspoons of bicarbonate of soda. Use a whisk to mix it all together, and get rid of any lumps in the flour.

- Stir in the teaspoon of salt, and mix that in with the flour. This recipe makes quite a salty bread, so you can dial back the salt by a quarter of a teaspoon or so if you’d like. Use the back of a spoon to make a well in the centre of the flour.

- Measure out the 400 millilitres of buttermilk or live, whole fat yoghurt, and slowly pour it into the flour mixing as you go. If the mixture still feels particularly dry when it’s all been mixed in, add in milk a tablespoon at a time. The dough should be, as Hugh describes it, ‘just this side of sticky’.

- Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface, and then shape it into a round. Transfer it onto a sheet of parchment paper, then firmly press the floured handle of a wooden spoon into the surface of the dough to get that distinctive soda bread cross!

- Slide the dough on its parchment paper onto the preheated tray, and then put it into the oven to cook for about 40 minutes. When cooked, the soda bread should be a dark golden brown colour, and will sound hollow when tapped on the base.

- Let it cool for a couple of minutes, then crack that baby open! It’s best eaten fresh on the day it’s baked, or toasted for a few days after that.

Cider-with-Rosie-River-Cottage-soda-bread Cider-with-Rosie-River-Cottage-soda-bread-2

Do tag me in on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag ‘#ciderwithrosiecooks’ if you have a go at making the loaf yourself, so that I (and River Cottage!) can take a look! I’d so love to see :) Thanks again to my friends at River Cottage for letting me share the recipe here. Oh, and for anyone who might fancy learning more about bread themselves, the course I took (with Boden, earlier on in July) featured elements from the Advanced Bread Making course. I can’t recommend it highly enough!

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  • http://www.imogenscribbles.blogspot.com Imogen

    Thanks for this recipe Rosie! I don’t think I’ve really tried Soda Bread before, but you’ve convinced me to give it a go because it does look tasty AND pretty easy. In fact I’ve only just started making my own dough, so this could be great for testing out techniques. I absolutely love the way you edit your videos by the way, they’re so creative and beautifully presented and somehow perfectly match the style of your blog! I’m amazed that you’ve managed to move into the world of YouTube without losing any of your style. Please keep making lots of videos! And blog posts too of course :)

    Imogen // imogenscribbles

  • http://www.betterhalffull.blogspot.com Niobe

    Looks lovely! I bake the odd loaf here and there, but was put off soda bread after someone told me it was always really dry and didn’t taste good. This looks good though so I’ll have to try it sometime soon! Also, as a new visitor to your blog can I just say your design is gorgeous!

    PS I’ve recently got back into blogging, if anyone fancies checking out http://www.betterhalffull.blogspot.com!

  • http://www.blondeofcarbs.com Jessica Edmunds

    Thanks for the video, the loaf looks absolutely AMAZING xxx

  • http://samsamcherie.blogspot.com Samantha

    Do you think this would work with soy yogurt for a vegan version?? It looks incredible and sounds mouthwatering!
    ~ Samantha

  • http://www.bumpkinbetty.com Jaclyn

    Your recipe videos are just so delightful Rosie – I think they are officially my favourite way to get baking inspiration. I’ve just recently started eating soda bread after I found out it doesn’t include yeast and I really love it – it helps avoid that bloted feeling after too much bread and has a nuttier taste I find. Thanks again for a great recipe – can’t wait to try this one!


  • http://mutedmornings.blogspot.se Mimmi

    This bread looks delicious! Definitely going to try this out sometime. Loved your video as well!

    xx Mimmi, Muted Mornings

  • http://asimpleelegance.com arielle

    this looks absolutely delicious. and so simple! so glad they let you share it. and your styling is beautiful, as always!

    love, arielle
    a simple elegance

  • http://ancaslifestyle.co.uk/ Anca

    Yummy! I bake bread quite often, I tend to add different ingredients to make it more interesting: a few slices of olives, basil, nuts and seeds, sundried tomato paste, spices.
    So far, I never tried a soda-bread recipe. I’ll have to make it, sounds very yummy. The shop-bought soda bread has an interesting flavour, but nothing can taste as good as the one made at home.

    Anca @ ancaslifestyle

  • http://oddlylovely.com Cat

    Aww, your videos are always so adorable and awesome. I’ve never made soda bread before, but I have personal experience with how challenging it can be to make bread with yeast, so this sounds far easier.


  • http://northernambitions.com Ursula

    soda bread is my favourite weekend indulgence. I never make it but it reminds me of being a kid when my mom would make it. thanks for sharing can’t wait to try this recipe out next time we make Sunday brunch

  • http://www.honey-loaf.com Emily

    First off your video is absolutely gorgeous and you have such a nice accent. This looks so tasty, I do love a bit of homemade bread. I will most definitely be trying my hand at this recipe. Thanks so much for sharing!

    emily | HONEY LOAF x

  • http://www.rosedogandco.blogspot.com.au Rosie

    Rosie! Oh my I am going to definitely make this when I get home to my Mums house in dorset in a week or so. I will let you know how it goes and definitely tag you in it. Your photography is beautiful.

  • Lindie

    This looks absolutely amazing Rosie. Would love to try this. Thanks for sharing :)

  • http://www.sevenlivesandmore.com/ Melodie

    Yum yum! That bread is beautiful and looks so delicious!! Love the simple tomatoe and basil idea…gonna try that one!!
    Thanks Rosie, i love your videos as much as i already love your blog!! ;)

  • http://heygurl.co.uk frae

    Oooh I’ll have to try this! Looks so much easier than normal bread!

  • http://leasupplee.wordpress.com Lea

    Looks delicious! Wishing I could have a slice right now!

  • http://www.mustbemagicblog.com Caity

    Thanks for the recipe! This bread looks delish, I can’t wait to try making it at home! I think with some jam and a cup of tea this would be amazing.
    xo Caity
    must be magic

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