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The Ballymaloe bakes Irish Soda Bread for us

A regional specialty from Ballymaloe team

Im Ballymaloe We usually spoil you with our menus, which we prepare according to the slow food principle and with daily fresh and seasonal products. All products used come either from our own farm and garden or are bought in from local farmers and suppliers. The meat is certified organic, the fish comes from the local fishing village of Ballycotton.

All products used come either from our own farm or garden ...
... or are bought in from local farmers and suppliers.
Susan with our head chef in our garden

Our breakfast buffet includes a selection of freshly baked bread, pastries and all kinds of specialties. Today we would like to recommend a typical Irish specialty to you: delicious Irish Soda Bread! Today we show you both the traditional variant and two variations with sultanas and chocolate. Have fun baking.

Ingredients for Irish Soda Bread:

Makes a loaf

  • 450 g (or 3 ½ cups) pure flour
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 300 - 600 ml (or 1 ¼ - 2 ½ cups) sour milk or buttermilk


1. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees C. Sieve the dry ingredients. Make a depression in the middle.

2. Pour all of the milk into the well at once. Knead the dough with one hand and stiff and outstretched fingers, similar to a claw. Make a full circular movement in ever larger circles from the center to the outside of the bowl. The dough should be soft, not too wet and sticky. When it all comes together, turn the dough out onto a well-floured work surface.

3. Wash and dry your hands. Clean up and then carefully turn the dough over. Beat the dough into a round dough about 4 cm thick. Cut a deep cross into the bread and prick the four corners with a fork.

4. Bake the bread in the oven for 15 minutes. Then turn the oven down to 200 degrees and bake for another 30 minutes until the bread is ready. If you are unsure, knock on the bottom of the bread. When it's done, it should sound hollow. After baking, let cool on a wire rack.

Tip: Soda bread tastes best when eaten on the same day. But it also holds up well for a day.

Another variation: spotted dog

For the spotted dog, follow the recipe above and add the following ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 100 g sultanas
  • 1 egg

Add the sugar and sultanas to the dry ingredients, place the egg and milk in the well. In some parts of the country, the spotted dog is also known as the railroad cake, "a currant for each station".

Another variation: striped cat

For the striped cat, follow the spotted dog recipe and replace the sultanas with 75 g of coarsely chopped chocolate of the best quality.

Enjoy it and maybe we'll see you soon in the ballymaloe, where we are happy to spoil you with more traditional Irish dishes!

- The Ballymaloe Cafe team

The Ballymaloe team from the shop
The outside of the Ballymaloe
The white room at Ballymaloe


  • Heike

    Dear Ballymaloe Cafe Team,
    I did the soda bread yesterday and it was like a little short-trip-holliday to you country. It was so good! Thanks a lot!
    My bread looked a little bit like a baloon… I guess that I did not cut deep enough the cross? What do you think?


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