Oat & Honey Soda Bread

 – by Rebecca Bishop




Here’s a recipe from Rebecca’s debut cookbook, Two Magpies Bakery – Stories and Recipes from the Heart of East Anglia, with photography by India Hobson, which is now on sale. Find out more at www.twomagpiesbakery.co.uk

Quick and easy to make, soda bread can be on the table within an hour. To leaven this bread, we use bicarbonate of soda rather than yeast, which gives a distinctive taste and texture and makes it the perfect introduction to the pleasures of real bread. If you’re struggling to find buttermilk, add a tablespoon of lemon juice to full-fat milk. Stir and allow to curdle slightly for 30 minutes.

Delicious with salty butter and a bowl of home-made soup or with scrambled eggs and smoked salmon. This loaf will stale quickly, so enjoy it fresh on the day it’s made or toast the next day. We get our buttermilk from our local raw milk supplier, Fen Farm Dairy, a by- product of their delicious Baron Bigod brie.


• 200g self-raising flour

• 120g wholemeal flour

• 150g jumbo oats

• 1 tbsp bicarbonate of soda, sieved

• 1½ tsp fine sea salt

• 1 tbsp honey

• 1 tbsp treacle

• 350g buttermilk


– Preheat the oven to 210°C/190°C fan/gas 6-7 and grease your tin thoroughly.

– Weigh the two flours, 120g of the oats, the bicarbonate of soda and salt into a large bowl and whisk to combine.

– In a jug, measure your honey, treacle and buttermilk and stir to combine. Add the liquid to the flour mix and, using a scraper or a wooden spoon, stir briefly to combine until no dry matter remains. This is more like mixing a cake batter than bread – don’t overmix the dough.

– Pour the wet mix into the prepared tin and smooth the top with a wet finger. Sprinkle the remaining 30g of oats onto the wet surface. Bake for 35-40 minutes until golden brown and the core temperature is 97°C.

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