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Soda bread with rosemary and sultanas

Soda bread is quick, easy and just as delicious as freshly baked yeasted bread. You can doctor your homemade soda breads with various additions, including fresh herbs - woody, pungent ones, such as thyme and rosemary, work best. This particular incarnation is a quick-to-make homage to the divine rosemary and raisin bread made at Sally Clarke's bakery in London. It's lovely with soup or a salad, or just spread with salty butter - as is the cheesy thyme variation below.


Preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas mark 6. Lightly oil a baking sheet or line one with baking parchment.

Sift the flour, salt and bicarbonate of soda together into a bowl. Stir in the chopped rosemary and sultanas. Make a well in the middle.

Whisk the yoghurt and milk together until smooth. Add to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. This will give you a soft, sticky dough, which is how I like it, as it makes a nice moist loaf.

With floured hands, or a spatula, scrape the dough on to the prepared baking sheet and pat it into a rough round. Bake for 45 minutes until risen and golden brown.

Leave the bread to cool on a wire rack. Eat as it is within 24 hours or, if you've left it longer than that, toast the slices. The loaf freezes well too.


Soda bread with thyme, Cheddar and mustard

Use 250g spelt or wholemeal flour mixed with 250g plain white flour. Replace the rosemary and sultanas with 100g grated strong Cheddar and 1 tbsp finely chopped thyme.

Whisk 2 tsp English mustard into the yoghurt and milk before combining with the dry ingredients.

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Makes one large loaf

  • 500g plain white or refined spelt flour
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped rosemary
  • 150g sultanas
  • 300ml plain full-fat yoghurt
  • 200ml whole milk

This recipe is taken from...

River Cottage Herbs Handbook

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