a peek inside the fishbowl

17 Nov, 2009

Easy bread recipe for beginners

Posted by andrea tomkins in: - iKnead

Before our household all fell down with THE SICK I discovered a very easy bread recipe over at the Canadian Living website for Irish Soda Bread. The amazing thing about this recipe is (1) it doesn’t require any kneading or rising time (basically the two things that scare people about making bread) and (2) it tastes really really good. DANGEROUSLY GOOD, in fact.

The texture is different, more crumbly and biscuit-like, but that’s not a bad thing. I made the savoury cheesy version of this recipe and it turned out really well. It’d be perfect served with a hearty stew or chilli.

It’s good sliced up and toasted the next day too:

Irish Soda Bread

Here’s my version of the recipe:

2 cups ( 500 mL) all-purpose flour (I used an unbleached stone-ground flour we bought at Upper Canada Village)
1 cup (250 mL) multigrain flour (Robin Hood)
2 tbsp ( 25 mL) granulated sugar
1 tsp (5 mL) each baking soda and salt
1 cup (250 mL) shredded old Cheddar cheese
1 chopped green onion
pinch cayenne pepper

1 1/2 cups (375 mL) buttermilk
1/4 cup (50 mL) canola oil

In large bowl, whisk together all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, cheese, onion and cayenne pepper.

In small bowl, whisk together buttermilk and oil. Add to dry ingredients all at once; stir with fork until soft dough forms.

On lightly floured surface and with floured hands, press dough into ball; knead lightly 10 times [Note: it took me more than 10 kneads to get it to stay together. I was kneading for about 30 seconds]. Place on greased baking sheet; gently pat out dough into 6-inch (15 cm) circle.

With sharp knife, score large X on top of loaf.

Bake in centre of 375ºF (190ºC) oven for about 45 minutes or until golden and tester inserted in centre comes out clean.

If you try this recipe let me know how it turns out!

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8 Responses to "Easy bread recipe for beginners"

1 | betsy mae

November 17th, 2009 at 10:03 am


i’ve mentioned to you before that i don’t like baking but bert really loves irish soda bread. no guarantees i will make this in the next week or two but i will take your word for it that it’s good and give it a try.

2 | Dagne

November 17th, 2009 at 11:00 am


Soda bread is huge at our house and in our extended family. It’s our fallback when my husband forgets or doesn’t have time to make leavened bread. The thing about it is that it’s so desperately simple to make and the rougher it is, the better. My very favourite recipe is shockingly short and simple:

1 cup oats (you can blend them quickly or leave them whole)
1/3 cup rye flour
2 2/3 cups unbleached flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups milk, soured milk or buttermilk

Mix dry ingredients. Add milk and quickly stir till it all holds together (this takes moments, and no kneading). split batter in half by hand and chuck onto greased baking sheet.

Bake for 5 minutes at 450 then reduce to 375 for the last 30 minutes.

Bread should be torn into hunks, but you can slice it as well. Awesome with sweet jams or with savoury pickles, etc, or just butter.

Easy to see how the Irish survived on this stuff and it doesn’t take any energy to make. If you can’t face baking but want the goodness of something home baked, it doesn’t get any easier than this.

3 | DaniGirl

November 17th, 2009 at 7:06 pm


Ohhh, I was all ready to try your recipe, Andrea, until I saw Dagne’s!! This looks like the perfect bread for dunking into soup. Yum!

4 | Delicious Meal&Recipe

November 20th, 2009 at 5:05 am


very cool & delicious dish, thank you very much for sharing.

Can I share this recipe on my recipe library?

Awaiting your response. Thank

5 | Javamom

November 20th, 2009 at 1:14 pm


I have tried recipes you’ve mentioned before and just today, while elbow deep in some bun dough I was kneading, wondered if you’ve posted about bread recently. And here we have it! Thanks, I’m going to try this recipe.

6 | andrea

November 20th, 2009 at 1:24 pm


Dagne – your version looks superb. Am definitely going to try it.

7 | Kerry

November 30th, 2009 at 12:55 pm


Tried it and loved it. Super easy! Thanks for sharing. :-)

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My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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