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Flavours of MercyCare: Irish Soda Bread

“It is one of my memories of my Mum and when I make it, it takes me back to a care-free time in childhood and we would all be fighting over who gets the crust off the bread fresh from the oven with the butter melting off,” says Breda.
“I am very close to my Mother and family back in Ireland and I think that no matter how long you are away from them, the best dishes you can cook are ones that make you smile and are happy memories.
“I come from a large Irish family. Mealtimes back then was about catching up on the news that everyone had. It was a time when everyone sat down at the table and had a meal together. This is a tradition I carry on in my own house today.”

375g strong wholemeal flour
75g plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 dessert spoon of fine salt
284ml buttermilk
75ml water


  1. Preheat oven to 200C.
  2. Begin by placing the dry ingredients in a large roomy bowl, mix to combine, then add the buttermilk followed by the water. Start mixing, first with a spatula and then finish off with your hands, to form a soft dough.
  3. Shape the dough into a ball, adding a dusting of flour if needed and place it on the baking sheet and pat a little.
  4. Cut a third of the way through the loaf with a sharp serrated knife, one way, then do the same the other way, forming a cut cross which will form the loaf into four crusty sections.
  5. Dust with flour and bake straight away in the centre of the oven for 40 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
  6. Serve buttered and with jam.