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This recipe is classed as easy

Rating 3.42 / 5 (244 votes)

Prep time:
15 min
Cook time:
45 min
makes 1 loaf

Ballymaloe white soda bread is Rachel Allen’s basic bread recipe, you can make it come alive with a host of sweet and savoury variations – try chocolate, cinnamon, crisp bacon or herbs


1. Preheat the oven to 230C/gas 8.

2. Sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Pour in most of the buttermilk (leaving about 60ml in the measuring jug). Using one hand with your fingers outstretched like a claw, bring the flour and liquid together, adding more buttermilk if necessary. Do not knead the mixture or it will become heavy. The dough should be soft but not too wet and sticky.

3. When the dough comes together, turn onto a floured work surface and bring together a little more. Pat the dough into a round about 4cm deep and cut a deep cross in the top.

4. Place the dough onto a baking tray and bake in the oven for 15 minutes, then turn down the heat to 200C/gas 6 and bake for a further 30. When ready, the loaf will sound slightly hollow when tapped on the base and be golden in colour.

5. Allow to cool on a wire rack before serving.

Adapted from Rachel Allen, Bake (Collins)


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Latest Comment


ÁgnesV25799 ÁgnesV25799  Posted 02 Jun 2013 7:40 PM

Of all the recipes I have tried (being Irish of course) this is the one!

geraldneT64579 geraldneT64579  Posted 31 May 2013 4:15 PM

Please would somebody check times. Top says cook for 20 minutes - method says cook for 15 plus 30 giving 45. Would seem to excellent using 15 mins at 230ºC followed by 15 at 200ºC,

mjwindsor mjwindsor  Posted 25 Feb 2012 8:12 PM

Really simple recipe and wonderfully adaptable. I use half White and half malted grain. Delicious

LisaL75747 LisaL75747 Posted 29 Jan 2011 12:29 PM

yeah it's taste very good, and i add in some pumpkin seeds...

hayleyP355 hayleyP355 Posted 31 Jul 2010 9:26 AM

Very simple and delish at the same time.

Jewels31 Jewels31 Posted 06 Jan 2010 9:04 PM

Family loved this made two gone in seconds. Thanks rachel

robertW76616 robertW76616 Posted 15 Oct 2009 11:58 PM

lovely bread, easy to make, brings ireland to dorset. thanks rachel maureen white 5stars

Anonymous Anonymous Posted 24 Jun 2009 12:35 PM

How delightfully simple. I used to make this with my Ex's 90 year old Granny in Ireland but she never weighed anything and just slung everything in "by handfulls". Thank you so much Rachel for a wonderfully simple recipe

Lisa-DawnB15655 Lisa-DawnB15655 Posted 01 Apr 2009 8:55 AM

The bread was great but it did not take nearly as long as it says to bake. It baked in almost half the time.

BronaghH53577 BronaghH53577 Posted 21 Oct 2008 6:53 PM

LizA9689 - 230 degrees is not gas mark 6 - that's an typo error. 230 is more like a gas 8 or 9 which is about as hot as most ovens will go so basically turn it on full whack to start with! Hope that helps!

DEB260173 DEB260173 Posted 16 Oct 2008 8:24 AM

what do i turn the heat down to as it says preheat to gas6 then turn down to gas 6

lizA9689 lizA9689 Posted 15 Oct 2008 3:12 PM

If you are looking to find where your recipes are after you have saved them - Scroll up to where it says welcome and select My UKTV and it should be on the right hand side in there Embarrassed)

CarlyM98205 CarlyM98205 Posted 15 Oct 2008 6:37 AM

Hello, jasper36. Please click on the link at right / below - Save this recipe to My Recipe Book.

Anya S - UKTV Anya S - UKTV Posted 13 Oct 2008 1:56 PM

This looks great but how do I save it to My Recipe Book---where is it?

jasper36 jasper36 Posted 11 Oct 2008 12:09 PM