Coconut-milk soda bread, 51p (V)

“Sometimes I think I want to have another baby and so I go bake some bread to mull it over. A 40 min incubation period later and I’m rocking a warm snuggly bundle that isn’t wailing, chewing my nipples or crapping down my leg, but warmly snuggling into my hip as I rock it gently, and you know, I’m over it.”


Excuse thighs, I hopped out of the bath to get it out of the oven. Naked Chef Jr over here.

Today was one of those days, and so I made bread. Based on my Easy Peasy Soda Bread recipe, but made with coconut milk as I’m taking part in Veganuary, and the large TetraPak cartons of coconut milk are £1 in the big orange supermarket at the moment.

I made a half loaf, as I am a one-adult household and I like my bread fresh fresh, but the recipe is easily doubled or tripled for hungrier homes – just turn down the oven to 160C after the first half hour and bake until done – usually another 20-30 mins for a larger loaf. You can test by inserting a skewer or sharp knife through the fattest part of the centre; if it comes away clean, you’re good to go.

Makes one baby loaf for 51p. Prices based at Sainsburys because it’s my nearest supermarket, but similar available at most big stores.

250g plain flour, 9p (Basics, 55p/1.5kg)
1 level tsp (5g) bicarbonate of soda, 2p (85p/180g)
2 tsp lemon juice, 4p (50p/250ml)
180ml coconut milk, 36p (Alpro, £1/500ml)

First preheat your oven to 180C. Then mix your flour and bicarb together in a large mixing bowl to evenly distribute. Soda bread doesn’t take much kneading, so it’s important to evenly scatter the bicarb throughout, else end up with a wonky loaf.


Squeeze or pour the lemon juice into the coconut milk, depending on whether you are using a fresh lemon or the bottled stuff. For what it’s worth, I swear by the bottled stuff for baking and dressings. A well known chef friend of mine sniffily claimed they could ‘always tell’ when bottled lemon juice had been used and as it turned out, no they couldn’t. Pooh to ingredient snobbery, I say.


Make a well (a large hole of sorts) in the middle of your dry ingredients and pour in the coconut milk and lemon juice. Mix firmly but briefly until just combined, then tip onto a floured worktop. Knead for half a minute, no more, just to bring it together. Pat it into shape. Dust a baking sheet with flour and pop it on.


Score it down the middle to let the fairies out and dust the top with any flour from your worktop – waste not, want not, after all. Bake for 40 minutes. Allow to cool slightly, then slice and enjoy.

Jack Monroe. You can follow me on Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr @MxJackMonroe

If you like this then you might like my book (available at Hive, supporting local bookshops:–100-Delicious-Budget-Recipes/15403047) or my Kickstarter for my new book, Cooking On A Bootstrap:


  1. What an amazing population control method!

    Thanks Jack.

    Any tips for those of us who find wheat an inflammatory?

    • Soda bread is the easiest to make with gluten free flour if you can have that, it may need a little more liquid as GF flour tends to be heavier, and a pinch more bicarb to rise, but I’ve had success with it myself. Good luck! If you can’t have GF flour, let me know and I will experiment with others.

      • I have been experimenting with adding a tiny bit of xantham gum to gluten free flour for cakes, scones and soda bread with good results but don’t overdo the gum.

      • I just made a gluten free version, tastes good, but impossible to slice, very crumbly. I might experiment with xanthan gum, or egg to make it more sticky, obv no good for the vegan version.

  2. I can attest to the fact soya milk works brilliantly in this recipe if anyone was wondering about other daily-alternative milks. My offspring is allergic to dairy and egg, and I’ve found soya milk curdles amazingly well with a bit of lemon juice (to the point where it truly resembles buttermilk you buy in the supermarket!)

  3. I have Oatly in the fridge… any good for this?? Not entirely sure what Oatly even is, but it’s tasty in hot choc 🙂

      • Well…I went to the fridge and the Oatly is nowhere to be seen?! Will be checking off my click and collect item by item next time… still made the bread but had to cheat and use *whispers* cows milk!! 😉

      • Well…I went to the fridge and the Oatly is nowhere to be seen?! …still made the bread, but had to cheat and use *whispers* cows milk!! 😉

  4. Absolute genius! Do you know whether UHT cartoned coconut milk would work as well as the one found in the fridge section? I use UHT skimmed milk in tea, coffee and on cereal and truly can’t tell the difference, but the (grown and moved out) family swear they can.

  5. I’ve yet to trying making bread, (except in a breadmaker which was loaned to someone who disappeared without ever returning it) but this seems so simple that I’ve got to give it a bash. Thanks Jack for yet more inspiration. x

  6. I made this after work today and it is absolutely yummy, and so easy to make! Had a box of powdered coconut milk in the cupboard so I didn’t have to invest in a carton of coconut milk and means I can make plenty more. Will be making again at the weekend for the boyfriend. Not sure he will love it as he hates anything sweet and the coconut does give it a slightly sweet flavour, but will see how it goes down.

  7. I love that line sometimes I want another baby then I make some bread instead, thanks for your great blog and showing people there nothing wrong with being poor

  8. Reading the comments above, Just so every body gets to know, Tesco do a UHT soya milk for 59p a litre – about half the price of everybody’s fresh alternatives. Tastes ok to me, and if you use it in this recipe the result would be a very tasty high protein loaf I think. And as Bethness says, soya milk makes a good buttermilk alternative, which you can then dunk your bread in!

  9. This looks really good – must try. I wasn’t sure where to post this but I have recently started learn-to-bake-bread demos for my local (multi-generational) food co-op – in my own kitchen – using your half-and-half recipe which was published in the Guardian. I’ve been looking for an appropriate column to post a heartfelt thank you on behalf of the co-op. Your resourcefulness and creativity are making a positive impact on the next generation of urban cooks and gardeners.

  10. I love this idea but I’m all out of Plain Flour at the moment. Do you think it would work with Rye Flour?

  11. I have just made this – had an opened tin of coconut milk which I had thought was tomatoes! however, should there be some salt in this ? It tasted like bread I have made in the past when I forgot to put salt in!

  12. Made this with a can of coconut milk, tasted sweet, so had it for pudding with rose jelly! Very tasty my children loved it too, thanks for the recipe x

  13. I had given up eating gluten free bread, the bought loaves are so expensive and not great at all, and no recipe I’ve tried gave good results, especially not the ones entitled “best ever” – best avoid!
    Then I saw your soda bread and the suggestion it could be GF. So quick and simple I gave it a try today.
    This is brilliant! From now on this is the only recipe I’ll use – maybe varying the GF flour, depending on what I can get locally or mix myself.
    Today I used Schär GF bread flour with about 225ml coconut milk (plus the lemon juice and bicarbonate of soda) and it’s lovely! I can even slice it really thinly! I think the “secret” to that is using more liquid, which is a must when converting to GF (as you suggested in your comments).
    *I got my Schär flour from Poland but they have just expanded into the UK market so their flour could be available here soon.
    Thank you very much for this simple but great recipe!

  14. Good. Have already consumed most of it half-an-hour after baking! Supposed to avoid sulphite preservatives because of a gut condition, so I was thinking of flavouring with mashed banana or pear next time – but then it’s not ‘coconut soda bread’ of course.

  15. Hello hello, just left my husband alone with the loaves, they where coming nicely when I looked, but they need another 10 min in the oven so he’s in charge. I doubled the amount and made smaller breads, for sandwiches..we’re going on a picnic later and i had no bread! I used buckwheat and rye flour (the ones my gut tolerates best) and soy milk. The buckwheat smell is a little strong but I’m used to it..and the husband will have to go with the flow..they will be slathered in veganaise, avocado and tofu croquettes, so it should be fine!
    Thanks for a quick and practical recipe!!

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