Cooking for engineers - Soda bread recipe

soda bread!

Here’s the technical specification for a tasty loaf of bread. A restaurant near me serves and sells this bread. It’s very quick to make and so tasty! The kefir/buttermilk is slightly acidic; this reacts with the bicarbonate of soda to release carbon dioxide which expands in the mixture to make the bread rise.


  • An oven at 220C
  • Baking tray, roasting tin or loaf tin lined with baking parchment
  • Mixing bowl
  • Wooden spoon
  • Cooling rack (optional but helps underside of loaf crisp up while cooling)

Dry ingredients:

  • 200g plain flour (~3.75dl)
  • 60g Porridge oats (chopped if they’re jumbo oats)
  • 8g bicarbonate of soda
  • 8g salt
  • 15g soft brown sugar

Wet ingredients:

  • 190g Buttermilk or Kefir (~2dl)
  • 25g Black treacle (~1 heaped tsp)

Implementation steps:

  1. Set oven to 220C
  2. Line baking tray or loaf tin with baking parchment. Tip: wet one side of the parchment so it sticks to tray.
  3. Mix the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Crush any lumps in the brown sugar.
  4. Add the wet ingredients and mix until dry ingredients have been absorbed. The resulting dough should be quite wet and sticky.
  5. Pour the dough on to baking tray/loaf tin with even thickness.
  6. Dust the top of the dough with more flour
  7. Make a deep long cut in the dough (as it grows in oven it’ll split at your cut instead of randomly)
  8. Bake for 25 minutes

While the soda bread is baking, either make some more dough for a second batch, or clean up the kitchen.

  1. Tip out the soda bread onto rack to cool

Serve with butter or a sharp cheese such as cheddar.


soda bread with cheese!