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Apple, Guinness & Cheese Soda Bread
Apple, Guinness & Cheese Soda Bread
added by Every Day

Take soda bread for a spin with this fruity, feisty recipe. This apple, Guinness and cheese soda bread makes a delicious dunker for soup, but is equally munchable all by itself.

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Prep time
  • 10-15 minutes
Cook Time
  • 35-40 minutes
  • Makes 1 large loaf
  • * 250g strong white bread flour
  • * 200g spelt flour
  • * 50g oats
  • * 10g fine salt
  • * 20g baking powder
  • * 100g roughly chopped dessert apple, such as Dorset Russet
  • * 75g grated Cheddar
  • * 100ml sunflower or rapeseed oil
  • * 250ml buttermilk
  • * 250ml Guinness
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1. Preheat the oven to 230°C/gas mark 8. Line a baking tray with baking parchment.

2. In a large mixing bowl, thoroughly combine the flours, oats, salt and baking powder. Add the chopped apple and 50g of the cheese and mix in. Make a well in the centre.

3. Combine the oil, buttermilk and Guinness and pour into the dry ingredients. The next stage is the most important part of making good soda bread: the less you handle the mixture, the lighter and tastier the loaf will be. ‘Feather’ your hand out like a giant fork and gently combine the ingredients. This should take no more than a minute and the mixture should only just be combined.

4. Put plenty of flour on your work surface and tip your mixture out on to it. Shape the dough into a round (don’t knead it, just pat it into shape). Transfer it to the baking sheet and top with the remaining cheese. Bake for 35-40 minutes until golden brown and well risen.

9 replies
Replied on

Good grief. Take a deep breath, loosen up and drop the stiff upper lip folks. Follow JPDEVON'S lead and remember recipes are a guide. I would imagine Hugh's a busy fella so he may have gotten the liquid quantity wrong. I've just made it using brown flour instead of spelt, [what's spelt flour anyway!]. Added the liquid mix untill consistency just right [about a third left over] and then baked as stated. I know what you are thinking; those crazy feckless irish, what about the recipe. Well, I've just had a slice and it's lovely. Perfectly crusty, light and fluffy a hint of cheddar tang against the sweetness of the apple. So try again my English cousins. Throw caution to the wind, unbridle your creativity and pop one in the oven. Cook like Celt!

Replied on

This was really easy to make. Made it with quite strong cheddar and was surprised that it didn't taste very cheesy but still nice. I too didn't use any buttermilk and found that the guinness and oil provided enough liquid. As other people had commended that it was too salty I only added a pinch of salt and it was fine. It was lovely eaten with some cheese.
As I had some guinness left over after making this I made some black velvet baby cakes from the Good Food magazine as I'm not too keen on drinking guinness.

Replied on

I have justed tried and worked a treat - although thanks to the comments above as I too didn't think it was butter milk and Guiness together.

Replied on

I had a go at this today and used the 250 ml of Guiness and it turned out lovely. I would recomend everyone try this recipe as you can really taste the diference from the traditional one.

Replied on

Made this with a Braeburn apple, it came out very well , and mucked up the diet!!
My husband reckoned it was really nice and he rates my cooking all the time , he gave this alongside the lemon curd muffins 10/10 Christine P

Replied on

Likewise - mixture way too wet, like soggy cake batter. Totally unshapeable, even with extra flour and oats and having only used half the oil. Referring back to the TV prog, stout is used INSTEAD of buttermilk/yoghurt. So I reckon recipe should say either/or and you could safely halve the oil. Having now drunk the rest of the little bottle of Guinness, though, trying again will have to wait for another day :-D

btw, I used grated squash instead of apples.

Replied on

catieG, I just tried it with the quantities suggested and it's come out nice and light, not stodgy at all? Didn't have any buttermilk or stout, so used milk, evaporated milk (left over from pumpkin pie) and ruby ale instead - seems to come out alright! Think I might use less salt and more apple next time though.

Replied on

thank you catieG I was just about to bake one when I read your comment. I was hastily trying to write out the recipe whilst the show was on last night and Im pretty certain that rather than use both buttermilk and guiness it said to substitute the buttermilk for guiness. In addition I was confused by the recomendation to use strong white bread flour as usually its made with softer flour - in the end I used my usual mix of ordinary (not strong) wholemeal and ordinary, not strong white flour, just over eight ounces of each two teaspoons of bicarbonated soda, one teaspoon of salt. Instead of adding oil I rubbed in one ounce of butter to the dry ingredients. I added the apple as per recipe above and then a small bottle of guiness - 330mls and mixed it lightly with my hands before shaping and sprinkling with grated cheese and baking as per recipe above - Its worked very well and has a fantastic flavour. Im pleased not to have to go chasing round for buttermilk but can keep the guiness in the pantry.

Replied on

Just knocked one of these up - came out rather stodgy. This may have something to do with the given quantities being completely to cock. 500mg flour does not need anywhere close to 600ml of liquid. In fact, I added walnuts as well to the dry ingredients, and had added 350 ml liquid before my brain engaged and I noticed that even this much was far too much. Half the given quanties should be enough for the oil, yoghurt (which I used), and stout.

I shall make another (smaller) loaf later this afternoon, to use up the remaining 250 ml liquid I had left over, adjusting the other quantities to suit, and see how that turns out. I'd like to crack this, as I've never really been a soda bread fan - it always tastes to me of, well, baking soda. But a loaf that can be knocked up so quickly coud be such a godsend at different times, if I can get over that.

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