Rosemary, brown butter and cracked black pepper soda bread

March 6, 2017 (Last Updated: March 9, 2017)
Rosemary, brown butter and cracked black pepper soda bread

Using bicarbonate of soda instead of yeast to leaven this spin-on-the traditional Irish soda bread, makes it an excellent, fuss-free recipe to try if you’re new to bread baking.

Rosemary, brown butter and cracked black pepper soda bread

Serves: Makes 1 large wreath
Cooking Time: 1 hr 30 mins


  • 170g butter + extra, to serve
  • 1,6kg cake flour + extra, to dust
  • 180g oats
  • 45ml (3 tbsp) sugar
  • 45ml (3 tbsp) fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 30ml (2 tbsp) baking powder
  • 15ml (1 tbsp) bicarbonate of soda
  • 15ml (1 tbsp) salt
  • 15ml (1 tbsp) freshly ground black pepper
  • 1,3L buttermilk



Preheat the oven to 190°C and grease and dust a large baking tray with flour. Place the butter in a saucepan and melt over medium heat until it begins to foam and turns golden brown, about 3 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly, about 5 minutes.


Stir the flour, oats, sugar, rosemary, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt and pepper together. Pour over the cooled butter, add the buttermilk and mix well to combine – you should have a fairly stiff dough.


Knead your dough on a floured surface until smooth and elastic, 3 – 5 minutes. On your prepared baking tray, shape the dough into a wreath of about 30cm in diameter. It’s easiest to do this by shaping the dough into a long cylinder of about 6cm – 8cm thickness, using lots of flour as you go, and then joining the ends of the cylinder to create a wreath.


Using a sharp knife, cut about 5 slashes randomly around the top of your dough (this will give it a textured appearance once baked) and dust the wreath with flour. Bake until the bread is golden and it sounds hollow when tapped, 45 minutes – 1 hour. Serve with softened butter.

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