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Vintage cheddar and thyme soda bread

A tasteful loaf, baked and ready to eat in under an hour, great on the day, perfect to toast the next.

Soda bread

This incredibly easy loaf is perfect for beginners and with a little more practice, you will be able to add the combination of flavours you prefer.

The thyme really comes through and the addition of crispy onions, gives this bread another layer of flavour.

As a tutor at the local Cookery School, I always try to find and test new recipes for my students. Some are made entirely from leftovers, and this loaf was one of them. I had some leftover rye flour and cheddar cheese to use, few lemon drops in milk and there you have a quick soda bread.

Vintage cheddar and thyme soda bread


  • 250 g 00 or plain flour

  • 250 g rye flour

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

  • 120 g vintage cheddar

  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves removed

  • 2 tbsp fried crispy onions - optional

For the buttermilk

  • 400 ml milk

  • 2 tbsp lemon juice


  1. Prepare your buttermilk. Pour the milk into a jug and add your lemon juice. Set aside for a few minutes and you will start noticing your liquid split.

  2. In a bowl mix all your dry ingredients completely and create a well in the middle.

  3. Add a third of your buttermilk and start mixing quickly. You may not need all your liquid depending on the flour you will use. Continue adding your liquid until the flour is all combined in a sticky dough, don't be tempted to use more flour.

  4. Add your cheese, thyme and onions if using, and shape into a ball.

  5. Move the dough on a lightly floured surface. Shape once more, doesn't have to be perfect, flatten with your hand and with a sharp knife, give the traditional cross, nearly to the bottom of the loaf.

  6. Sprinkle with a little more flour and bake in a preheated oven at gas mark 7 - 200 C for about 40 minutes or until is golden on the surface and sound hollow.

Suggestion: If you don't have rye flour, use the whole quantity of the same.

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