Easy peasy garlic bread.

I’m so addicted to airy fairy easy peasy soda bread, I thought I would see how it translates into a quick and easy garlic bread to accompany the mountain of pasta-and-tomatoes I eat….. I’m pleased to say it works beautifully, with a quick spread of butter. Wrap well after cooling though, as it will stale quickly – but if it does, never fear, I’ll put a recipe up for that!


Ingredients, Serves 4

200g self raising flour
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
200ml semi skimmed milk
Juice of half a lemon
2 garlic cloves
Handful of parsley


Squeeze the juice of half a lemon, or 2 teaspoons bottled lemon juice, into the milk. Crush or finely chop the garlic and add to the milk and lemon. Stand to one side to allow it to sour for approximately five minutes.

Meanwhile, weigh the flour and add the bicarbonate of soda, chop the parsley and toss in, and mix through.

Make a well in the centre of the flour mix, and pour most of the milk-and-lemon in. Mix well with a wooden spoon to form a sticky dough. Use your judgement, if it looks dry, add the remaining liquid – but it *should* be more like a thick batter than a dough. This is normal!

The trick to amazingly light soda bread is not to fiddle with it too much.

Pour it into a loaf tin, score it across the top in three places, and place in a 180C oven for 40 minutes. It should sound hollow on the bottom when tapped, and feel ridiculously light.

Break into chunks and serve warm with butter, or allow to cool completely and wrap in clingfilm to keep fresh.

Jack Monroe. Follow me on Twitter @MsJackMonroe. Find me on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/agirlcalledjack

A Girl Called Jack is available to order at Waterstones: https://m.waterstones.com/BookDetails.aspx?bookId=10013935 or on Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/A-Girl-Called-Jack-Monroe/dp/0718178947


  1. I just wanted to leave a quick message to say you’re an inspiration! I love your blog and recipes. I have the ‘parsnip, thyme and parmesan cheese’ bread baking in the oven at the moment. Yay! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Can’t wait to try this recipe, and if it goes stale I know it will make a great stuffing or base for a panzanella salad. Perhaps you could do a recipe for a parsnip stuffing loaf, that’s my alternative to meat in a roast dinner on weeks when the budget doesn’t stretch ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Nom! I love soda bread… but always used natural yogurt to make it, cheaper still with milk, tipped ๐Ÿ™‚ thank you again Jack xx

  4. Jack, you’re an inspiration .. You’re article about Jamie Oliver was spot on . Apparently,the man likes bull fighting

    – Sent from my HTC on 3 –

  5. We have a brilliant garlic bread here in the Vendee. It was originally made when bread ovens had no thermostats. The baker would lay little pieces of dough in the mouth of the oven to see when the base started to crisp and thus know the oven temperature. Rather than throw these pieces away, they put a mixture of minced garlic and warm butter on them and had them for their “gouter” ( snack).. This tradition has been recreated in modern day Vendee and has been made so expensive that I can never buy it but look forward to rich visitors who often bring some with them:)

  6. I made this yesterday using garlic granules and dried parsley (because that’s what I had in the cupboard) and it was delicious!

  7. Hi Jack,

    I wasn’t sure where else to leave this post, and to be honest you might have already done this.

    I’m sure you’re massively busy but would you consider writing a ‘shopping list and recipes’ post where you list what we would need to buy to make, say, five meals for a week?

    Your recipes are fab, but I want to cook all of them!

    A selection of meals which could be made from a set of ingredients would help me greatly.

    Thanks again, love the blog – sorry if you’ve already covered this stuff elsewhere.


    • Hi Sally –

      I did this for the Guardian a while back, I’ll dig it out. Only difference now would be to replace the red wine vinegar in the shopping list with a small bottle of red cooking wine at the same price – it just tasted better!

  8. Loving your recipes and I’ve been looking for a good garlic bread recipe for a while. Congratulations on your book deal. Can’t wait to buy it. Also, if you know how to upcycle clothes or have any acquaintances who can, please share. Thank you!

  9. Gidday Jack, just linked to your site from a newspaper article in Oz and first recipe
    I stumbled into was this one and it sounds so delicious and easy no butter rubbing yahoo!

    I am saving you to my faves and shall be checking out your other recipes. ๐Ÿ™‚

    We have had a recent change of Government here and the Libs (Tories) are now in power
    which means job losses and slashing and burning for families like mine. I am definitely up
    for cooking good food cheaply and I think your site is a God send.


  10. Hey, just thought I’d add on here that soda bread can also be made with tartaric acid- I can’t eat lemon juice (get migraines so citrus is out, along with yoghurt and buttermilk which are other substitutes), but 1/2 a teaspoon of tartaric acid (per 250mL cup of milk, so maybe a little less for this recipe which has only 200mL milk) instead of the lemon juice works great.

  11. So on Sunday I found myself wanting soup but with no bread to go with it! Decided to make this (thought garlic would be nice flavouring) but had no garlic cloves! Used teaspoon of garlic salt and teaspoon of parsley (dried, not fresh). Think it would def have nicer garlic flavour if I used cloves (will try that next time), but as a cheap and very easy bread recipe, this was great!
    AND there was enough to accompany three of my meals this week! ๐Ÿ˜€

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