Milk, Oat and Soda Bread

17 Sep 2023

Soda bread is really quick to make and can be ready to eat within an hour.

This version is a fruity alternative which is great straight from the oven or toasted the next day. It can be made using milk, yoghurt or buttermilk – whichever is in your fridge.


200g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
75g porridge oats, plus extra for sprinkling
¼ x 5ml spoon salt
¾ x 5ml spoon bicarbonate of soda
100g mixed dried fruit
2 x 5ml spoons sugar
1 small lemon (juice only) if using milk
200ml semi-skimmed milk OR 100ml semi-skimmed milk and 100ml low-fat natural yoghurt OR 200ml buttermilk


Weighing scales
Baking tray (preferably non-stick)
Baking parchment OR greaseproof paper (optional)
Measuring spoons
Large mixing bowl
Large mixing spoon or table knife
Chopping board (optional)
Sharp knife (optional)
Juice squeezer (optional)
Measuring jug
Large sharp knife
Oven gloves
Wire cooling rack


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan or gas mark 6.
  2. Dust the non-stick baking tray with a little flour or line the tray with baking parchment or greaseproof paper.
  3. Put all the dry ingredients into a large bowl and mix well.
  4. If using milk, cut the lemon in half and squeeze 2 x 5ml spoons of juice and add to a measuring jug, then top up to 200ml with milk. If using milk and yoghurt or buttermilk, measure it out into the jug.
  5. Add most of the liquid to the dry ingredients and stir to form a soft dough. Add the rest of the liquid if needed.
  6. Tip out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and quickly and lightly form into a slightly flattened ball.
  7. Transfer to the baking tray and mark the top into quarters with a large sharp knife, cutting deep into the dough. Sprinkle over with a few extra oats.
  8. Bake in the oven for 30–35 minutes or until the loaf is golden and feels hollow when tapped underneath. If the bread is browning very quickly after 20 minutes, reduce the oven temperature to 190°C/170°C fan or gas mark 5 for the rest of the cooking time.
  9. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Skills used include:
Weighing, measuring, squeezing, mixing/combining and baking.

Top Tips

  • The bicarbonate of soda is the raising agent in this bread. It starts working as soon as the liquid is added, so make sure the bread goes into the oven as quickly as possible.

Something to try next time

  • Make apricot and cranberry bread. Chop 50g of dried apricots into small pieces and add, together with 50g of dried cranberries, instead of the mixed dried fruit.
  • To make cheese bread, add 75g grated reduced-fat mature Cheddar (reserving a little to sprinkle on top) and omit the fruit and sugar.

Prepare now, eat later

  • Soda bread is best eaten very fresh or can be kept for up to 24 hours and served toasted.
  • Freeze the loaf either whole or cut into slices in an airtight container or freezer bag, for up to 1 month.