Onion Soda Bread

Do you ever feel like a deliciously warm and fresh loaf of bread straight from the oven, but don’t want the effort of kneading dough, or waiting for it to rise?

Then this is the loaf for you!

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I adapted this recipe from one I’d seen on TV made by Lorraine Pascale by adding in the onion, as I wanted a bit more flavour, but it is optional.

The bread is risen by using bicarbonate of soda/baking soda (as the name suggests), which therefore eliminates the need for yeast, kneading and proving (and saves a heap of time!)

I ended up using all white because I didn’t have any wholemeal (so 500g plain flour altogether), but usually the recipe is as follows:

Onion Soda Bread

  • Servings: 4-6 (1 loaf)
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 370g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 130g wholemeal flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 40g butter, melted
  • 1 tbsp black treacle
  • 300 – 340ml buttermilk (or alternatively use warm milk plus 1 tbsp lemon juice)


  1. Preheat the oven to 200C and ensure the top shelf in the oven is in position.
  2. Saute the onion a fry pan with the oil until lightly golden and softened, then set aside to cool.
  3. Place the flours, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a large bowl and stir together. Make a large hole in the centre of the flour mixture and pour in the melted butter, treacle and onions, plus enough of the buttermilk to make a loose sticky dough.
  4. Tip the dough onto a lightly dusted work surface. The dough will be quite sticky. Knead the dough for one minute, then shape it into a log shape with a taut, smooth top. (I find this shape is easier to cut and portion than the traditional round loaf) Place the dough on a baking tray and flatten it a bit, then with a sharp knife, slash the dough across the surface (about 4 slashes).  soda bread
  5. Dust with some flour then bake in the oven for 30–40 minutes, or until the bread is brown, has risen nicely and the dough inside where the cross was made is not damp.  You can also tap on the bottom of the loaf, and if it sounds hollow, you know it’s fully cooked.
  6. Serve with butter or any other spread you like.  It is best eaten fresh or makes delicious toast over the next few days!

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