Tag Archives: Quick Bread Recipes

Bacon and Onion Soda Bread

This deliciously comforting bacon and onion soda bread is the first white flour soda bread I’ve made.  I have to admit to having my doubts as wholemeal soda bread topped with oats is such a mealy, tasty treat that I couldn’t quite imagine the same depth of flavour from a white flour, but when you’ve used up your wholemeal flour but you want to whip up a quick bread to serve up with your chicken and chorizo cassoulet, what are you to do?  It turns out that white soda bread offers a deliciously crunchy crust and a soft texture, and is the perfect vehicle for adding flavour to in the form of additional ingredients, such as onion, bacon, fresh herbs and cheese.  Much like this recipe!  And it turns out that you can earn a decent quota of wife points from serving up bread with bacon in it….

This recipe is so quick and simple – no intense kneading necessary – and you can change up the ingredients to whatever you prefer or have to hand – cheese and onion alone would be pretty tasty.  The only essential ingredients are the flour and buttermilk, so make sure you have those ready.  This bread is delicious to serve up with a hearty soup or stew on a cold night, and is also lovely warmed up again for the next couple of days.

Bacon and Onion Soda Bread

Bacon and Onion Soda Bread


  • 4 rashers smoked bacon
  • 1/2 large onion, or 1 whole small onion, sliced
  • 450g plain white flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 25g cold butter
  • 350ml buttermilk
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley, chives, thyme and tarragon
  • Around 75g grated hard cheese, such as parmesan or cheddar


  1. First, prepare the flavourings for the bread by frying off the bacon until crisp, and then gently cooking the sliced onions until soft in the bacony pan. Once the bacon is cool, slice it into chunks or strips, small enough to mix into the bread but not so big that they're more than a mouthful.
  2. Preheat the oven to 210c fan. Slip a baking sheet into the middle of the oven to preheat to help your bread to form a beautiful crust.
  3. Measure out the flour, bicarb and salt into a large bowl and mix together. Now cube the butter and add to the bowl, rubbing it into the flour as if you were making a batch of scones.
  4. Chop the herbs and add to the mixture along with the onion and bacon at this stage as they can more easily be mixed through the dough.
  5. Mix together and then make a well in the centre for the buttermilk to be poured into. Pour in the buttermilk and mix everything together, kneading gently until everything has just come together to form a consistent dough which is just holding together.
  6. Form into a ball and flatten into a round, then cut a large cross into the top.
  7. Place onto the preheated baking sheet (careful now!) and bake for around 40-45 minutes, until crisp on the outside and hollow-sounding when knocked.
  8. Enjoy with lashings of butter and something wintery and delicious.
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Soda Bread (or bread for impatient people)

Sometimes you want decent bread, made at home, but you don’t have the best part of an afternoon to make it. Well, help is at hand!

This takes about 40 minutes to make and is absolutely delicious with soup, salad and cold meat, pâté or butter and jam.   

You will need:

170g self-raising flour

170g wholemeal flour

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda 

290ml buttermilk

  1. Preheat the oven to 200c making sure the shelf is low enough to fit the loaf in the oven! 

  2. Weigh out the flours, bicarb and salt and mix together.  
  3. Add in the buttermilk. Hint: the carton I bought was 284ml but it gave me 290. Mr Brooker suggested adding a dollop of yoghurt but I didn’t need to in the end. It’s a good plan if you’re running short though.  
  4. Mix everything together with your hands, making sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl for any spare flour. Do not over knead! 
  5. Remember that this is an unyeasted bread so please don’t over work it. You just need to knead it until it has formed a consistent dough. Roll into a ball, flatten and place on a floured baking sheet or stone. (Hilariously I just thought about using a baking stone…ah well…next time). I just added baking parchment to make cleaning up easier – it’s not essential.  
  6. Cut a cross into the bread, fairly deep so it will bloom out nicely. This is easiest if you make 4 separate cuts.  
  7. Sprinkle the top with flour (I added a sprinkle of rolled oats as well but that’s optional) and bake for around 30 minutes until hollow sounding when you tap it on the bottom. I’d advise leaving it to cool for 10 minutes or so to let the residual heat move through the bread and prevent doughiness. 
   Enjoy fresh, or toast the next day.


Whilst I’m trying to keep my carb intake low, there are just some meals that can’t do without bread. For me, that particularly means curry. In fact I’d almost rather have bread than rice, or even chicken if the bread is good enough. Indian breads are especially amazing, as they somehow have the ability to be both quick and easy to make and yet ridiculously delicious. These ones won’t break your diet too much, as they are relatively small (ish) and contain wholemeal flour and olive oil. 

To make 2, you will need:

75g plain flour

75g wholemeal flour

Pinch salt 

1/2 tsp olive oil 

100ml milk 

1. Weigh out the flour and add the salt. Mix together and add the oil and milk.

2. Mix in and knead into a ball. Continue kneading for a couple of minutes. 

3. Wrap in cling film and set aside for 20 minutes.

4. Once rested, cut in half and roll out each half on a floured board. You want to achieve a rectangle about the size of a sheet of printer paper, a few mms thick.

5. Lightly oil then roll into a log.

6. Roll the log up into a spiral.

7. Roll the spiral into a round, about half a centimetre thick. 

8. Heat a drop of oil in a frying pan until screaming hot then turn down to medium. Lay the bread in the pan and cook on each side for 3 minutes or so, until the outsides take on a charred colour and you can see the inside bubbling through the surface (this sounds weird but you’ll see it!).


9. Remove from the pan and enjoy!

 The inside should be soft but flaky.