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Festive Christmas Soda Bread

To add a touch of colour and sweetness I have added Cranberries and white marzipan. The bread is wonderful straight from the oven spread with butter. It's also good with a strong cheese, ploughman style platter.


300g White Strong Bread Flour (Shipton Mill)

100g Plain Pastry Flour (Shipton Mill)

150g Heritage Blend Stoneground Wholemeal Flour (Shipton Mill)

9g Salt

1.5tsp Bicarbonate of Soda

50g Fresh Cranberries (best used frozen, they hold their shape during mixing)

50g Marzipan, chopped small and chilled

0.75tsp Mixed Spice

0.25tsp Star Anise

320g Buttermilk (if using milk add 1.5tsp lemon juice to sour, or use sour milk)

60g Yogurt


  • Preparation: If using 'normal' milk add the yogurt and lemon juice, put aside for 30 minutes in a warm environment to sour.
  • Switch on oven, 215c.
  • To a mixing bowl add the dry ingredients, mix.
  • Add the cranberries and mazipan.
  • Add the prepared soured milk mixture (or the buttermilk and yogurt), mix to incorporate and then form a round dough. Do not knead.
  • Place on a heated baking tray or stone. Flatten slightly and cut a cross in the top. Sprinkle with white strong flour.
  • Bake for 45 minutes.
  • Baked temperature should be a minimum 95c. Or base sounds hollow.
  • Leave to cool slightly on a wire rack.