Ballymaloe white soda bread

Ballymaloe white soda bread is Rachel Allens basic bread recipe, you can make it come alive with a host of sweet and savoury variations try chocolate, cinnamon, crisp bacon or herbs
By Rachel Allen
Ballymaloe white soda bread
  • Rating:
  • Serves: makes 1 loaf
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • 400 g plain flour
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 350 ml buttermilk


1. Preheat the oven to 230C/gas 8.

2. Sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Pour in most of the buttermilk (leaving about 60ml in the measuring jug). Using one hand with your fingers outstretched like a claw, bring the flour and liquid together, adding more buttermilk if necessary. Do not knead the mixture or it will become heavy. The dough should be soft but not too wet and sticky.

3. When the dough comes together, turn onto a floured work surface and bring together a little more. Pat the dough into a round about 4cm deep and cut a deep cross in the top.

4. Place the dough onto a baking tray and bake in the oven for 15 minutes, then turn down the heat to 200C/gas 6 and bake for a further 30. When ready, the loaf will sound slightly hollow when tapped on the base and be golden in colour.

5. Allow to cool on a wire rack before serving.

Adapted from Rachel Allen, Bake (Collins)

Rate This Recipe