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Bacon, Cheese and Spring Onion Soda Bread

This easy no-knead Irish soda bread is filled with crispy bacon, cheddar cheese and spring onion. This quick, no-yeast recipe can be made in under an hour!
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Side Dish, Snack
Servings 8 thick wedges


  • Large mixing bowl
  • Baking tray lined with baking paper, or a silicone baking tray
  • Frying pan
  • Grater
  • Whisk
  • Wooden spoon/spatula


  • 490 g plain white flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt rounded
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper rounded
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda (also known as baking soda) level
  • 460 ml buttermilk room temperature. See notes below for making DIY buttermilk
  • 8 rashers streaker bacon finely chopped and fried until crispy and golden brown
  • 4 spring onions finely chopped
  • 250 g grated cheese, divided 200g for bread dough, 50g to sprinkle along cross before baking


  • Preheat your oven to 200°C/180°C fan.
  • Finely chop the bacon and fry on a medium heat for around 5 minutes until stightly crunchy and golden brown.
  • Place cooked bacon on a piece of paper towel to absorb some of the excess fat and leave aside to cool slightly.
  • To a large bowl add the plain flour, salt, pepper and bicarbonate of soda. Whisk to combine.
  • To this large bowl add the finely chopped spring onions and cooled bacon pieces. Whisk to combine.
  • Add 200g of grated cheese to the bowl and mix to combine. I find this easier to do with my hand.
  • Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredeients.
  • Pour the buttermilk into the well and stir with a wooden spoon at first. As it gets more difficult to stir with the spoon use your hand instead to mix and press the dough together until a rough ball of dough is formed. The dough will be quite sticky. If too sticky to form a ball, add a tablespoon of flour at a time until it looks as shown. 
  • Place the ball of dough onto your baking tray (either a silicon tray or one lined with baking paper/parchment).
  • Using a large sharp knife, cut down the centre horizontally and vertically to create four sections. Cut almost to the very bottom as shown. Don’t worry, the sections will slightly join together again as the loaf rises in the oven.
  • Now sprinkle the remaining 50g of grated cheese into the cross.
  • Dust the top of the loaf with some plain flour and then place in the preheated oven on the middle shelf for 30 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and check that it is baked by inserting a skewer into one of the thickest parts and check that it comes out clean.
  • Place on a wire cooling rack. Soda bread is best eaten on the same day. I usually freeze any leftover wedges, double wrapping them in cling film. Then I take a wedge out an hour or so before needing it, and usually place in a warm oven so it tastes fresh again!


Buttermilk substitute: If you can't find buttermilk, don't worry as it's easy to make your own at home! Just measure out the same amount of full fat or semi-skimmed milk and add around 2 tablespoons of either lemon juice or white wine vinegar. Stir it together and leave the milk aside for around 10 minutes. It will become slightly thicker and curdled and this what you want - you now have buttermilk substitute! 
I don't recommend using skimmed milk as it doesn't work so well - the mixture is more watery and you end up with a stickier dough. To turn your skimmed milk into full-fat milk, replace 30ml of the milk for 30ml double cream. Stir to combine, then turn this into buttermilk as described above!
If you’ve tried this recipe, tag @bakerjoblog on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter and/or use #bakerjoblog!
Keyword bacon, irish soda bread, no knead, no yeast, quick bread, soda bread, soda bread recipe, spring onion