White soda bread with cheese

White soda bread with cheese by Rachel Allen is stunning served with bowls of extra virgin olive oil and coarse sea salt for dipping
By Rachel Allen
White soda bread with cheese
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 8
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Effort: easy



  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 450 g plain flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 125 g cheddar cheese
  • 400 ml buttermilk

Tips and Suggestions

Alternatively use grated Parmesan cheese instead of Cheddar.


1. Preheat the oven to 220C/gas 7. Brush a baking tray generously with olive oil.

2. Sieve the plain flour and the bicarbonate of soda into a big bowl, add the salt, 50g of the cheese and mix together with your hands.

3. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in most of the buttermilk. Spread the fingers of one hand out like a claw and together in a full circle. Add enough of the remaining buttermilk to make a soft dough. Do not knead the mix, but work it very gently to bring together.

4. Place the dough onto a floured surface and roll out to about 35 x 20cm. Transfer the rolled dough to an oiled baking tray, brush the top with some more oil and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Bake for 18-25 minutes, turning the oven down to 200C after 10 minutes. When cooked the bread should be a golden brown colour and feel firm in the centre. Transfer it to a wire rack and cool for a couple of minutes, then cut it into squares and serve.

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