Bramley apple soda bread (makes four generous portions):

200g flour (any will do – plain, self raising, rye, whole meal…)
1 rounded tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp lemon juice
200ml milk
1 large Bramley apple (or other variety, but they do work incredibly well here!)

First, measure out the milk and add the lemon juice, and leave to stand while you do the rest.

Measure the flour into a mixing bowl, add the bicarbonate of soda, and quickly mix through.

Finely dice or grate your apple – I leave the skin on mine for extra goodness, and it adds a nice crunch to the bread. Peel it if you like, but you’ll be missing out on a treat! Mix the finely diced apple into the flour.

Pour in the soured lemony milk, and stir well. Lightly grease or flour the inside of a loaf tin, and pour the mixture in. It should have a batter consistency, not a dough.

Bake in the centre of the oven at 180C for 40 minutes. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before turning out of the tin.

I served mine warm with chunks of Brie, an absolute taste sensation that felt both like a delicious treat, but wholesome and good at the same time.


***VEGANS*** This soda bread recipe will work just as well with non-dairy milk. Almond or hazelnut milk would be a delicious nutty alternative, and soya milk works well too.

****MILK**** I used 2 heaped teaspoons of milk powder in 200ml cold water to make up the milk for this recipe. As a rule, use 1 heaped teaspoon per 100ml water to replace fresh milk. I can never tell the difference in cooking, but I can definitely tell the difference in my wallet!

***MAKE IT YOURS*** Customise it with whatever flour you like – rye flour makes a heavy, flavourful loaf. Whole meal flour lends a wholesome, earthy texture complemented by the sweetness of the bakes apples. Gluten free flours work just as well, but you may need a little extra liquid for moisture. Once you’ve chosen your flour, why stop at apples? Berry soda bread would be a delicious treat, as would bananas, sultanas, fresh herbs… Be brave!

Jack Monroe. Twitter: @MsJackMonroe


  1. Ive got bramley apples (free) in the freezer from the summer glut when they were dropping off neighbour’s trees. I don’t know if it would work with them

  2. The authentic northern irish version uses wholemeal flour, buttermilk( I use plain yoghurt )and adds a handful of sultanas.Then the best way it is in thick slices, buttered, with a pot of tea and a new book from the library in front of the fire…..

    If you have any left it makes incredible toast.

  3. Awesome Recipe Jack! 🙂 For gluten free it requires a little more water than usual, a binder such as energe egg replacer or flaxseed meal with some hot water, and about 1/4 to 1/2 tsp guar gum or Xanthan gum. If not, the bread will crumble and fall apart! Just for FYI. Thanks again for being you! 🙂

  4. Beth – bake it while you slow cook something else, justify the oven time. And I have a box of cheap-to-me blueberries which have an appointment with some soda bread! I wonder if you could incorporate some of that brie INTO the loaf……….

  5. Ooo – sounds yum!
    How do you store this bread Jack? Sounds pretty wet (if you see what I mean) so I guess it might turn blue pretty quickly? At least in comparison with normal soda bread. So, in the fridge? Any idea how it freezes? Thanks

  6. Jack, you can also sour milk with an equal amount of vinegar. I don’t usually keep lemon juice on hand, so I’m planning on making this up using Apple Cider Vinegar.

  7. Phew, I have a moment to breath, there are so many people trying to access the site it has collapsed in an exhausted heap. Good tho ay. So far, I am taking my own advice and not reading the comments, although my sister, bless her, extracted loads of nice ones for me to read.
    Anyway, apples. Have you tried the original Bircher muesli? Found it in a veggie cookbook by Rose Elliot. I actually had it for breakfast this morning.
    2 tbslp oats, 1 tbslp sweetened condensed milk, 3 tbslp water, 1 tbslp lemon juice, a little zest if you have it
    Mix all that and leave for a while, it goes gelatinous after a while. Then grate in 100g apple and a tbslp of any chopped nuts.
    It’s delicious and keeps me going for hours

  8. In the oven as we speak. I’ve used wholemeal bread flour, hazelnut milk and gala apples. Can’t wait to have it for breakfast!

  9. Eat the apple peel if they are home grown, but not advisable with bought ones as a lot of fruit is waxed nowadays to make it look good/keep fresher, I don’t know, but not a good idea to eat I think!

  10. I have often made savoury soda bread with herbs and onions, chopped leeks and a little cheese. Its a great way to use up plain yogurt that might be past it sell by day too

  11. Great idea using powdered milk. Never buy the stuff normally but will definitely give it a try. I have a beetroot too, so gonna try that out too! Love this blog, very inspiring and great tips I can pass on to my clients at the Foodbank. K

    • Mines cooking now but seems to be soggy in the middle so l keep putting in the oven for another 5 mins and checking it. So far its had 50 min. !

  12. Made this with rice milk I needed to use up and put some left over currants in too – delicious and so easy. I just had to say how well this turned out – I didn’t believe it would, but it was lovely. Made it this morning, almost all gone now 🙂

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    Je me mets aux fourneaux, demain, avec vos recettes et mon plus grand plaisir serait que vous deveniez une star, une référence culinaire et budgétaire dans notre pays.
    Je vous promets de suivre de près votre beau parcours.
    Non, ce n’est pas un conte de fĂ©e….you deserve it !
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    Best regards
    Sylvie Devienne Caron

  14. Made this today, used Gluten free flour, and had about quarter of a jar of mincemeat leftover from Xmas, so added that to the mix instead of the apple, have to say its wonderful, turned out really well and tastes a bit like malt loaf.

  15. What a fabulous,alternative to anything in the supermarket bakery. I made this with the only apples in the house , a Granny Smith, tasted scrumptious, quite sweet, perfect with a cup of tea. I live I. California now but it really reminds me of my granny’s soda bread when I was growing up in n Ireland.

  16. I made your soda bread recipe adding apricots pre soaked in tea. Amazing. Loving the sound of this apple version!

  17. As a gluten free person trying to avoid refined sugar for lent this recipe is a godsend! Quick and easy – and minus all the strange sounding ingredients, egg and sugar that many gluten free breads/ bread recipes contain. Also much much cheaper than the eye watering amounts that places charge for the commercial gluten free stuff.

    I adapted this with about 200 g of fresh mango instead of the apple, dried cumin and coriander as an alternative to naan bread. I’m now thinking about all the other delicious things I could add to the basic recipe to make this a regular treat!

  18. I made this yesterday with gluten free flour and UHT soya milk and it came out a treat! When it first came out of the oven it was a bit soggy (possibly because I used xanthan gum in addition to self-raising GF flour, which already contains xanthan gum?) but today it’s the perfect consistency and delicious with a thin layer of 100% fruit jam. I’d go as far as to say it’s a good replacement for a scone with a bit of butter (I used soya) slathered on as well, especially in a world of disappointing GF breads/bricks. I also tried it topped with some soya yogurt and sliced banana and that was also lovely! A great, easy recipe, easily adaptable to GF and DF needs – thanks, Jack!

  19. I’ve just put it in the oven, with banana instead of apple. Hope it works out, love that there’s no extra sugar!

    • Hi Ellie I haven’t tried it but there are lots of soda bread slow cooker recipes on line so I don’t see why not. I’m going to give it a go. Very glad to be reminded of this recipe again – apples from neighbour’s trees are beginning to drop on our path with a thump and don’t want to waste!

      • That was my plan as my trees are full of half grown apples, so I bought a bramley to try it out, and neither of my boys would eat it! I liked it though so I’m going to try with something else like raisins or banana. I did it in the oven to see what it was meant to be like, but I think I’ll try the slow cooker next time. 🙂

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