Cheese and Chive Soda Bread

Not quite “instant bread”, but still pretty quick. Also easy, also tasty, also very filling. The cheese and chives add a wonderful savoury richness. (NB I DID NOT say “take it to a new level”.)

Level: Nice and easy

Time: Easily under and hour

Equipment: Just basics – large bowl, baking tray, scales etc. No mixer required.

Ingredients (for two loaves)

  • 600g plain flour (all white or half white, half wholemeal)
  • 10g bicarb. soda
  • 10g salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper and/or chilli powder, mustard powder etc. (all optional)
  • 10g caster sugar
  • 100g – 150g grated cheese. (Cheddar or Red Leicester work well) reserve some to go on top
  • About 3 tbsp chopped chives – more if you want (reserve some to go on top)
  • 360ml buttermilk (NB Cartons usually contain 300ml. Make up rest using milk + dash of lemon juice.)
  • 50g melted butter (optional, but worth it)


1. Pre heat oven to 200C (180 fan) Line a large baking tray.

2. In a large bowl, measure out the flours, bicarb soda, salt, pepper/chilli etc. and sugar. Stir to mix.

3. Stir in the cheese and chives.

4. Pour in the buttermilk and melted butter (if using). Mix briefly to form a soft dough.

5. Tip onto a lightly floured surface and knead briefly, working quickly.

6. Divide into two and form into rounds. Place apart on baking tray and flatten. Cut a deep cross in each one. Sprinkle over the reserved cheese and chives.

7. Bake for about 20 – 25 minutes. Until hollow sounding when tapped underneath.