Jay Worrall Thompson’s spicy Christmas soda bread recipe

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makes: 1 loaf
Skill: medium
Prep: 15 min
Cooking: 45 min
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  • Antony Worrall Thompson’s wife gives her recipe for this Christmas bread. Jay says: ‘Warm soda bread is perfect for Christmas morning – the children like it with butter and jam, topped with banana.’


    • 400g white flour, preferably unbleached
    • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
    • Pinch ground coriander
    • Pinch ground nutmeg
    • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 50g vanilla sugar
    • Zest of 1 small orange (organic or unwaxed)
    • 100g dried cranberries
    • 450ml buttermilk


    • Preheat the oven to 220C/Gas 7

    • Sieve the first seven ingredients into a mixing bowl.

    • Next add the orange zest and dried cranberries. Make a well in the centre and pour in most of the buttermilk. Using one hand in a circular motion, mix in the flour to form a dough which is fairly soft without being too wet or sticky – add more buttermilk if necessary.

    • Turn the dough out on to a floured board. Knead just enough to tidy the package into a neat ball.

    • Pat the dough into a round 1¼ in (3 cm) deep and cut a deep cross on the surface.

    • Bake for 20 minutes on a floured baking tray then reduce the heat to 200C/4Gas 6 for another 25 minutes. To test whether cooked, tap the bottom of the bread and if it is ready it will sound hollow.

    Top tip for making Jay Worrall Thompson’s spicy Christmas soda bread

    Jay says: 'If you can’t get buttermilk, take 400ml of full fat milk and squeeze the juice of a lemon it. Leave for about twenty minutes until it starts to curdle.'

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