Something different to try for St. Patrick's day. I know that I risk possible abuse from the Irish because I’ve made this traditional soda bread recipe using Khorasan (or Kamut) flour, but bear with me. It still tastes like soda bread, but it is nutty, sweet moist and bakes to a beautiful light golden colour. Unlike normal bread there is no yeast in soda bread. It’s ready to bake in minutes because it uses bicarbonate of soda, or baking soda, which is an alkali to raise the dough. The baking soda needs both an acid and moisture to activate it and upon activation, it produces carbon dioxide. This gas expands the mixture making the bread light and once the mixture is cooked, the carbon dioxide is replaced by air leaving a light bread. Some of the best things to activate bicarbonate of soda are yoghurt, buttermilk or milk with a squeeze of lemon.

Makes 1 good-size loaf
Prep time 4 minutes
Cooking time 45 minutes
Suitable for freezing? Yes, as soon as it is cool from the oven



  1. Preheat the oven to 190˚C/gas mark 5 at least 10 minutes before you start making the bread.
  2. Sift all the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl
  3. Add the buttermilk. Stir until evenly mixed, but don’t over-mix  as it will go claggy and heavy if handled too much.
  4. Turn the bread out into a lightly oiled 1kg bread tin, alternatively, shape into a round cob and place on an oiled baking sheet.
  5. Bake in the oven for approximately 45 minutes. Check to see whether the loaf is baked by slipping a knife into the centre. If it comes out clean, then it is done; if not, then return it to the oven for another 5 minutes and check again. When the loaf is baked all the way though it sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.
  6. Serve warm from the oven.

*Note As with all raising agents, you need to stick to the exact amount specified in the recipe. Adding extra bicarbonate of soda results in a strong unpleasant flavour and a greenish tinge