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  • The story of bread

    Ireland’s unique yeast-free soda breads are one of the country’s best-known heritage foods, beloved at home and abroad.

    Traditionally produced daily in most households, the continued popularity of bread-making competitions at local food fairs and agricultural shows is testament to soda bread’s national status.

    Less resilient traditions include the making of maize breads, while griddle breads, soda farls, oatcakes and sweetened ‘breads’ such as barn brack and Kerry apple cake (similar to white soda bread) remain popular.

    Alongside a recent surge in interest in artisan European yeast-based bread-making traditions, the geographically unique Waterford blaa has been enjoying a renaissance. This small fluffy white bread roll was introduced by French Huguenot immigrants who settled in Waterford City in 1693, taking their precious yeast-based "pain blanc" with them.

    Wild garlic soda bread

    Wild garlic soda bread ecipe

    Quantity Ingredients
    450g white spelt flour
    1 tsp salt
    1 tsp bread soda
    340 - 400ml buttermilk
    1 tbsp wild garlic pesto
    2 tsp dried wild garlic leaves


    1. Preheat oven to 230ºC. 

    2. Mix all dry ingredients in large bowl and sieve in the bread soda.

    3. Add in the wild garlic pesto and the dried leaves (dry them overnight in a very low oven when in season and store in an airtight jar).

    4. Make a well in the centre of the mix and pour in most of the buttermilk . The exact amount of buttermilk can vary. Mix well but be very careful not to over mix. 

    5. Turn the dough out onto a floured board and gently form into the traditional round or a loaf shape.  

    6. Place the loaf on lined baking sheet. Score a deepish cross on the bread.

    7. Bake in a hot oven for 20 minutes, then reduce heat to 180ºC for another 15-20 minutes, or until just cooked. Tap the bottom of the bread; if it is cooked it will sound hollow. Cool on a wire rack. 


    Did You Know?

    ... that the Waterford blaa; a doughy, white bread bun, has been granted protected geographical indication (PGI) status? The blaa is produced today by a group of Waterford-based bakers and found increasingly on menus countrywide.

    230x100 Yvonne-Carty Original

    Find out more about the creator of this delicious recipe.

    Read more about Food Champion Yvonne Carty

    I use wild garlic pesto and dried wild garlic leaves to give a new and interesting flavour to the soda bread. I also use spelt flour, an ancient relative of modern wheat, which I think gives a better, lighter loaf. Perfect to use as a base for bruschetta.

    Yvonne Carty
    Hey Pesto!, Co Offaly