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Roasted Garlic Irish Soda Bread

Course: lunch, Side Dish
Keyword: bread, garlic, soda bread
Servings: 1 loaf
Author: Luminary Bakery


  • 1 bulb of garlic
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 420 ml buttermilk (or 300g natural yoghurt and 120ml whole milk mixed together)
  • 250 g wholemeal plain flour
  • 250 g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp fine salt
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper


  • Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/Gas Mark 6 and line a baking tray with baking paper.
  • Cut the top off the garlic bulb to just about reveal the cloves inside, leaving the papery skin on. Place the bulb in a small baking tin, drizzle with the olive oil and bake in the oven for 20–30 minutes until the cloves are soft to the touch. Set aside to cool.
  • When cool, squeeze the roasted garlic out of each papery casing and into a separate bowl. Mash it up into a paste with a fork or press it through a garlic press, then mix in the buttermilk and whisk together.
  • In a large bowl, mix together the flours, bicarbonate of soda, salt and pepper, making sure the salt and bicarbonate of soda are well distributed throughout the flour.
  • Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture and pour in the buttermilk mixture. Use your hands, a spatula or bench scraper to mix the wet ingredients into the dry until a sticky dough forms.
  • Lightly flour a work surface and tip the dough onto it. Gently roll and fold the dough a couple of times to bring the mixture together. Do not knead – you just want to bring it together.
  • Shape the dough into a ball and transfer it to the baking tray. Gently press down with your hands to flatten the ball into a disc, about 5cm thick. Liberally dust the top with flour and use a large sharp knife to score the dough with a deep cross dividing it into quarters, about 2cm deep. A ‘sawing’ action can help get a sharp cut.
  • Bake for 35–40 minutes until golden brown and hollow-sounding when turned upside-down and knocked on the bottom. Once baked, leave to cool on a wire rack.


This roasted garlic version is a favourite of ours, but if garlic isn’t your thing, try adding 200g of crumbled Stilton and 100g of roasted walnuts instead – it’s just as delicious and the oozy cheese is such a treat!