Fruit & spice soda bread

Fruit & spice soda bread
A traditional Irish loaf that uses bicarbonate of soda instead of yeast – this version is sweetly spiced with fruit and oats

  • Preparation and cooking time
    • Prep:30 mins
    • Cook:35 mins
  • Easy
  • Makes one large loaf enough for 8
Nutrition: per serving
low insalt0.6g


  • 100g rolled porridge oat
  • 25g butter, diced
  • 200g plain flour
  • 200g plain wholemeal flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 ½ tsp mixed spice
  • 50g raisin
  • 50g sultana
  • 50g stoned date, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp mixed peel
  • 450ml buttermilk
  • 3-4 tbsp demerara sugar


  • STEP 1

    Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Whizz the porridge oats and butter together in a food processor, or rub the butter into the oats with your fingertips in a big bowl. Stir in the flours, caster sugar, bicarb, mixed spice, 1 tsp salt, the raisins, sultanas, dates and mixed peel.

  • STEP 2

    Pour over the buttermilk and quickly stir in with a round-bladed knife. Tip out onto a flour-dusted surface and gently bring together into a ball with your hands. Transfer to a flour-dusted baking sheet and scatter over the demerara sugar, pressing it into the top. Use a sharp, flour-dusted knife to cut a big cross in the top and bake for 30-35 mins until crusty on the outside. Eat warm or cold, thickly sliced, with butter.

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