Mary’s Classic Soda Bread

Makes 1 round loaf


  • 8 oz plain flour 
  • 8 oz wholemeal (whole wheat) flour 
  • 1 tsp salt 
  • 1 tsp baking soda 
  • 1 tbsp molasses or treacle
  • 1½ oz butter, melted (about 2 tbsp), plus extra to brush
  • 1 free-range egg, beaten
  • 13½ fl oz buttermilk 


  • Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/390°F/ fan 350°F/gas 6. Brush a 30fl oz Pyrex bowl with melted butter. 
  • Place the flours and salt into a large bowl. Sift in the baking soda and mix well. Add in the molasses, melted butter, and egg and pour in most of the buttermilk. Mix to form a soft dough adding in more buttermilk as needed. Transfer into the prepared Pyrex bowl. 
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes. To check that the loaf is cooked, tap the base – it should sound hollow. 
  • Transfer to a cooling rack. If you want a soft crust, cover with a damp tea towel.