Walnut and Treacle Traditional Irish Brown Soda Bread

We have been making this brown bread at Gougane Barra Hotel for ten years now. It goes well with soup or chowder, with smoked salmon on top of it and even for breakfast with butter and jam!

Makes 4 x 445g / 1 lb loaves or 2 x 890g / 2lb loaves


-  650g /1.5 lbs Extra coarse brown wholemeal flour

-   225g /0.5lb. Plain White flour

-   2tsp. Bread soda (bicarbonate of soda) sieved

-   100g /4 oz. Irish Butter

-   50g / 2 oz. Demerara Brown sugar (optional)

-   750ml Buttermilk

-  4 Free-range Eggs 

-   3 dessert spoons of Treacle (warmed slightly)

-   Handful of roughly chopped walnuts (optional)

-   A handful of pinhead oatmeal and a little porridge oats can also be added if you like coarser bread

 How to do it

-   Mix all of the dry ingredients very well in a mixing bowl.

-  Beat the eggs with an electric mixer. Mix the melted butter with the warmed treacle.Add the eggs. Add ¾ of the buttermilk.

-  Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and add all the liquid ingredients,do not add the remaining buttermilk unless you think you need to, it is quite a wet mixture (not possible to knead it) you should be able to scoop it in your palm into the prepared tins.

- Divide mixture into 4x (445g) 1 lb. lightly oiled bread tins.

-  Shake sesame seeds on top (optional)

-   Bake at gas 3 (170ºC) for one hour or a little under.

We always listen to our bread to decide when it is ready, when it almost stops talking it is ready, still whispering a little though...


Katy Lucey.