The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Soda Bread baked in a Dutch Oven.

JOHN01473's picture

Soda Bread baked in a Dutch Oven.

i posted this yesterday and as i have had no replies i am posting it here.

I need a recipe / formula for Soda Bread baked in a Dutch Oven.

it is so i can bake a loaf for my neighbour who has an intolerance of yeast.
i need the list of ingredients / method / baking times with lid on/off.
buttermilk is in short supply so i was going to make my own with milk and Cream of Tartar.
does anyone have any experience using this method?
The Baking Bear


linder's picture

The Bread Book by Collister and Blake has a recipe for soda bread cooked on top of the stove in what looks to be a cast iron skillet.

Ingredients - Makes four large soda bread triangles

3 1/4 cup self-rising flour(If you can't find self-rising flour, you can make some up. For each cup of all-purpose flour, add 1 1/4    teaspoons of baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon of salt, reduce flour amount accordingly).

1 tsp granulated sugar

1 tsp. kosher salt(I might skip or reduce this if you made your own self rising flour)

2 TBSP cold unsalted butter, diced

About 1 1/2c ups buttermilk

a 12 inch cast iron skillet or non stick frying pan and lid or baking sheet to cover

Heat the skillet over moderately low heat while you make the dough.  Sift together the flour, sugar and salt into a large bowl.  Rub in the butter with your fingertips or cut in with a pastry blender, lifting the mixture a few inches above the bowl and letting it fall to aerate the dough, until the mixture looks like fine crumbs.  Stir in enough buttermilk to just moisten the dry ingreadients and to make a soft, light and fluffy dough, don't overwork the dough.  Quickly turn out onto a floured surface and knead four to five times until the dough comes together and forms a rough, fairly lumpy ball.  Pat out inot a disk about 8 to 9 inches in diameter and about 1 inch thick.  Cut the disk into quarters.

Lightly brush the skillet with oil.  Put the bread into the heated pan, cover and cook over moderately low heat for 15-20 minutes, turning the dough pieces over 2-3 times so they cook evenly.  The finished bread should be golden brown and well-puffed.  Remove the bread from the pan and transfer to a wire rack to cool, cover with a dry dish towel until ready to serve.

I have never tried this recipe but hope it works for you.

Happy Baking,


JOHN01473's picture

Thanks Linder,

i think this is so close its worth looking at whether i can oven bake it rather than on the stove top.

thanks for looking it out for me.


clazar123's picture

This is from The Society for the Preservation of Soda Bread-can't get any more authentic than that. I assume you are asking about baking the bread in a Dutch Oven inside the oven,correct? Or are you looking to do this on top of the stove?

As for homemade soured milk, I have always used vinegar or lemon juice (teaspoon or so) in a cup of milk. I guess cream of tarter may do the same-just a different acid. Yogurt thinned with milk would also work. The buttermilk is a source of fat,also, so you may want to use full fat milk (unless your friend shouldn't have that.)

I like my soda bread sweeter and possibly with raisins with a crunchy top so  I bake my sweeter dough in a cast iron skillet but don't cover it at all. Have delicious fun!

White Soda Bread

4 cups (16 oz) of all purpose flour.

 1 Teaspoon baking soda

 1 Teaspoon salt

14 oz of buttermilk



Preheat the oven to 425 F. degrees.  Lightly crease and flour a cake pan.

In a large bowl sieve and combine all the dry ingredients.

Add the buttermilk to form a sticky dough.  Place on floured surface and lightly knead (too much allows the gas to escape)

Shape into a round flat shape in a round cake pan and cut a cross in the top of the dough.

Cover the pan with another pan and bake for 30 minutes (this simulates the bastible pot).  Remove cover and bake for an additional 15 minutes.

The bottom of the bread will have a hollow sound when tapped so show it is done.

Cover the bread in a tea towel and lightly sprinkle water on the cloth to keep the bread moist.

JOHN01473's picture

Thanks this is bang on the money and it has a good pedigree.

Can't wait to try it tomorrow.



ananda's picture

Isn't Buttermilk fat-free?

I thought it was the liquid left as a by-product from churning butter?


Best wishes


JOHN01473's picture

as the lady prefers low fat i was going to use skimmed milk and add the Cream of Tartar.


clazar123's picture

I know buttermilk is not high in fat but here (USA) it is 1-2% fat. It is no longer made from the leavings of churning cream to butter but is now a cultured milk product in which milk (the 1 or 2% variety) is innoculated with a culture. Sad but true. Modern buttermilk is more akin to yogurt or kefir than whey soured by the natural bacteria in the unpasteurized cream or milk.

Is buttermilk different across the pond?

JOHN01473's picture

i have used this one but it is always in short supply at my local store.

Sainsbury's Buttermilk 300ml

Description - Cultured Buttermilk Pasteurised
Ideal for cooking, perfect for sweet and savoury recipes

Dietary Information  - Contains milk


Nutrition Per 100ml
dabrownman's picture

brown soda bread recipe from Ballymaloe in Ireland - It is an Allen family heritage recipe.  Cooked in a preheated DO it is fantastic.

The buterr and seeds are not optional in my book.  We like this much bettert than the white soda bread wich is still terrific if you cut in 25 g of butter to what ever soda bread you are making.  Butter makes soade bread much,much  better than without it.


225g (8oz) wholemeal flour

225g (8oz) plain flour

1 tsp salt

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

50g (2oz) mixed seeds, such as sesame, pumpkin or sunflower, or golden linseeds (optional)

25g (1oz) butter (optional)

1 egg 375-400ml (13-14fl oz) Buttermilk

You will need a 25cm (10in) diameter tart tin, 3cm (1¼in) deep


1. Preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F), Gas mark 7.

2. Sift together the flours, salt and bicarbonate of soda in a large bowl and mix with the seeds (if using). Add the butter (if using), and rub into the flour mixture with your fingertips until it resembles breadcrumbs. Make a well in the centre.

3. In another bowl, whisk the egg with the buttermilk and pour most of the liquid into the flour mixture. Using one hand with your fingers outstretched like a claw, bring the flour and liquid together, adding more buttermilk if necessary. The dough should be quite soft, but not too sticky.

4. Turn onto a floured work surface, and gently bring it together into a round about 4cm (1½in) deep. Cut a deep cross on top

5. Place on a baking tray and bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, then turn down the heat to 200°C (400°F), Gas mark 6 and cook for 30 minutes more. When cooked, the loaf will sound slightly hollow when tapped on the base. Allow to cool on a wire rack.

JOHN01473's picture

i made your recipe, but i baked it in a Dutch Oven rather than a baking tray.

because of the DO i had to extend the baking time by another 15 minutes.

it looks good and it is a fairly light hands on recipe.

the butter milk i used was a commercial one from a local store - seemed more like a thinned yogurt than milk.

this will be lunch today - well i have got to test it before i give it away, you know  just in case.

dabrownman's picture

brown soda bread bake really came out beautiful.  Just wait till you taste it!  Warm with butter  - yummy !  In the morning toasted with butter and jam.  You can make a black soda bread that is also delicious.    Soda bread and stout are the heart and soul of Ireland if you ask me. 

Nice baking John,

dabrownman's picture

looks pretty satisied,if a little tuckered out ;-)

clazar123's picture

So was this the "original" heritage soda bread recipe?  It looks like you got a very bold bake on that nicely colored crust.