Paul Hollywood’s soda bread*

If you’re a fan of freshly made bread with a bowl of hearty winter soup then you will love this recipe for traditional Irish soda bread from Paul Hollywood. This recipe is super simple and great for getting the kids involved. It also contains wholemeal flour, making it a healthy alternative that is full of fibre. By the way, it also tastes delicious. Enjoy!

Makes 1 small loaf



250g plain white flour

250g plain wholemeal flour

1 tsp salt

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

About 400ml buttermilk 


  1. Heat the oven to 200°C/Gas6. Line a baking tray with baking parchment.
  2. Put the flour, salt and bicarbonate of soda into a large bowl and mix well. Make a well in the centre and pour in half the buttermilk. Using your fingers or a round-bladed knife, draw the flour into the buttermilk. Continue to add the buttermilk until all the flour has been absorbed and you have a sticky dough. You may not need all the buttermilk – it depends on the flour you use.
  3. Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, shape it into a ball and flatten it slightly with the palm of your hand. It is important to work quickly, as once the buttermilk is added it begins to react with the bicarbonate of soda.
  4. Put the dough on the baking tray. Mark into quarters with a large, sharp knife, cutting deeply through the loaf, almost but not quite through to the base. Dust the top with flour.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes or until the loaf is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped on the base. Leave to cool on a wire rack. Eat on the day of baking – or toast it the next day.


And if you’re looking for some soup inspiration, why not try this delectable cumin scented carrot soup from South Africa’s very own Zola Nene – a budget friendly dish that makes the most of the humble carrot without skimping on any flavour. What’s more, you can get ahead on this soup and conserve energy by roasting the carrots and garlic bulb when you’re cooking another meal in the oven.

Serves 4


1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped
2kg carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
2 Tbs cumin seeds
1 tsp dried chilli flakes
2 Tbs olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 garlic bulb
500ml vegetable stock
250ml coconut milk
15g fresh coriander, chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 180C.
  2. Place the onion, carrots, cumin seeds and chilli flakes into a roasting dish.
  3. Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, then roast in the oven for 1 hour or until the carrots are roasted and tender.
  4. Wrap the garlic bulb in foil, then place into the oven and leave to roast with the carrots until tender.
  5. Transfer the carrots into a blender, then squeeze the soft garlic out of the papery skins and add to the carrots along with the vegetable stock and coconut milk, then blend until smooth.
  6. Heat soup then add the chopped coriander and season with salt and pepper before serving topped with croutons or with some crusty bread.

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