Bacon, Walnut & Herb soda bread

This loaf has an unusual but excellent combination of ingredients and flavours. I’m embarrassed to admit that it came about simply by looking around the house for likely items – the fridge (bacon), the cupboard (walnuts) and the garden (parsley & chives). Not quite foraging, but it worked.

Makes: Two medium loaves

Time: Less than an hour providing you don’t faff about

Equipment: No special stuff needed


  • 250g/9oz strong white bread flour, plus more for dusting
  • 250g/9oz plain white flour
  • 1½ tsp salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 85g/3oz butter, melted
  • 300ml/10fl oz buttermilk + a little ordinary milk if necessary                         
  • 4 – 5 rashers of bacon, fried until crispy then cut into small pieces
  • Around 60g/2oz walnuts, broken into small pieces (or more if you want)
  • Around 30g/1oz herbs (chives, rosemary, parsley, basil etc.)
  • A little milk or egg for brushing the top (optional)
  • A handful of oats for topping (also optional, but they finish it off nicely)


1. Cut the bacon into pieces and fry until crispy. At this point you could toss in the walnut pieces for half a minute and fry them a bit, but this is optional. I like to. Dry it all on kitchen paper. Pick fresh herbs if you have them and chop, or use a reduced amount of dried.

2 Preheat the oven to 220C / Fan 200C / 425F / Gas 7. Line a baking tray with baking paper and dust with flour.

3. In a large mixing bowl, mix together flours, salt and baking powder until thoroughly combined.

4. Stir in the bacon, nuts and herbs.

5. Pour in the melted butter and the buttermilk.  Mix to make a dough. Add the reserved milk if seems very dry. (Don’t dilly dally now – the chemical reaction that makes the bread rise has begun.)

6. Divide dough in half and shape each half into a ball. Place them onto the prepared baking tray and gently flatten them slightly. Cut a deep cross on top of each one.

7. (Optional) Brush with milk or beaten egg then sprinkle each loaf with oats.

8. Bake in preheated oven until golden brown on top – about 30 – 35 minutes.

I wish you every success with your bread making. I hope you have a go at this one and enjoy making and eating a lovely loaf. If you want to see more of my bread recipes click This link.

Here are three quite different breads that I hope you try:

Spelt & Fig Semi Sourdough

Rye & Wholemeal Apricot English Muffins

Ridiculously easy No-knead bread

If you’d like to make a comment or ask a question please do, via the contact page.

Whatever you bake, I hope it goes well