Dan Lepard’s Breakfast Soda Bread

Dan Lepard’s Breakfast Soda Bread from “Short and Sweet”

This is quite possibly the best recipe in Dan’s most recent book, “Short and Sweet”. There’s an older version of this recipe on the Guardian’s website but the updated one in his book is more precise and positively wow-inducing. That’s what my husband said after peeling off the baking paper sleeve from his individually baked wholemeal soda bread. He forked off a chunk, the steam still curling off the tender crumb, and he simply said, “Wow” as he tasted it. I nodded in agreement.

A few notes:

I don’t have a muffin tin, so I employed the Mother of Invention protocol, and voilà. I used two Pyrex custard cups instead, setting each baking parchment parcel into its cup and then setting them on a baking sheet in the oven.


I had to wet my fingers slightly to press the parchment parcel into the custard cup because my fingers kept sticking firmly to the dough.

There was incredible oven spring, so I don’t think coloured muffin papers would work for this. Pity because I think it would look pretty. The parchment paper looks nice enough to be honest.


I put the dry mixture into an air-tight canister, labelled it with how much wet ingredient is required for each 90g of mix. I might also add the dry ingredient list just to make things easier in the future when the canister is empty. I intend to make lots and lots and lots of these in the future.


It’s great weekend bread to accompany soup for lunch.

(updated 26 June 2012)


20 Comments Add yours

  1. Monica says:

    Holy cow. I’ve been meaning to make these since I saw the original recipe in the guardian. I love the little individual servings. Thanks for reminding me – I need to step up my game and get baking!

    1. Misk Cooks says:

      I like the small portions, also. I find that soda bread goes stale if not eaten on the day it’s baked, and this way nothing dries out. Do you have a muffin tin? I thought that I had one but I think it’s gone missing during one of our many moves around the world. I just employed the Mother of Invention protocol, and voilà. 🙂

    2. Misk Cooks says:

      Monica, just wanted to mention that I agree with David Whitehouse (see below) – buy the book, if you haven’t already. xx

  2. So glad you liked these – I’m biased, but I would recommend people to get “Short & Sweet” to see Dan’s current version of this recipe.

    Did you find the way the ingredients were set out in the book easy to follow ? We ummmed- and aaaahed- a fair bit at the editing stage about how best to do it, and wanted something that both gave the dry mix for 6 but made it easy to make just 1 or 2 for breakfast on your own or with your partner.

    1. Misk Cooks says:

      Hello, David. Thank you so much for leaving a comment.

      I mean it sincerely: they’re brilliant. No more leftover stale soda bread in this house. It’s just me and my husband, so a whole loaf of 300-500g flour is too much for us, meaning that I’m always halving recipes. Not any more!

      As for the way the recipe is written (ingredients and method), it’s dead easy to follow, and entirely user-friendly. Not once did I have to go back and re-read instructions. You and Dan did a brilliant job writing this one up. Well done on a fabulous recipe and an inspired way to create an old classic with a new twist. 😀

  3. You are so clever to use your custard cups.
    🙂 Mandy

    1. Misk Cooks says:

      Hi Mandy! My kitchen has minimal storage space, so anything in it needs to be able to “sing more than one tune” … if you follow what I mean. 😀 I reckon muffin tins can only sing one tune: muffins.

  4. C says:

    They look great – lovely texture and massive spring! They look so soft and inviting! I was just wondering why I hadn’t made them and then realised it’s because I rarely have milk hanging round (don’t drink it) and never have just 30g yogurt to use – I’d need to do something with the rest of the pot! My solution is to bake and freeze – not as good as fresh, but works for me.

    Have you tried different flours? I love the mix of wholemeal/rye/oatmeal/white in the maslin soda bread recipe, and I bet those different flours would work in this recipe too. Great to have found something that works so well for you though 🙂

    1. Misk Cooks says:

      No, I haven’t used different flours yet, C., because this was my first attempt at making them. 😀 I’ve filled a cannister with the dry mixture for future baking, so I” consider alterations when I’ve finished that off. The oatmeal addition sounds interesting!

  5. underthebluegumtree says:

    I made these last week on the back of your wonderful post. I sprinkled pumpkin seeds on the top and served them with homemade baked beans and fried eggs. They were fab and so quick and easy to do but mine did stick to the baking parchment. Not sure where I went wrong but maybe I shall grease the paper next time.

    1. Misk Cooks says:

      Hi! Glad to hear that you liked them. So easy and so good!

      Did you use parchment paper or greaseproof paper? I find everything sticks to greaseproof but haven’t had problems with parchment. My packet says unbleached nonstick baking paper. What does yours say?

      1. underthebluegumtree says:

        I used what they call “waxed” paper over here. By the name, I am guessing that is more similar to greaseproof and probably where my problem lay. Will have to try and track down an alternative…..

        1. Misk Cooks says:

          I buy “waxed paper” at an American speciality shop in London, and I wouldn’t bake with it because the manufacturer states that the waxed surface can melt into the food. It’s good for microwaving though as it keeps the moisture in.

  6. underthebluegumtree says:

    Trying to make these again for Short and Tweet but rising really wonkily to one side. Any ideas where I might be going wrong? They are not looking very photogenic at the moment!

    1. Misky says:

      They don’t rise neat and tidy like a cake muffin; they’re soda bread and sort of rustic. How are they inside? Are they light and tender, or dense and compact?

      1. underthebluegumtree says:

        Mine don’t look rustic, just plain weird! The crumb is good though. I think they are probably rising too fast because of the high altitude so will try again with less bicarb. I used baking paper this time though and at least they didn’t stick.

        1. Misky says:

          Yes, baking paper works for me, too. It must be difficult baking at high altitude! If the crumb is good, I’d think you’re right that altitude is the culprit.

  7. underthebluegumtree says:

    Ah ha. I just tweeted Dan and he kindly got back to me and he reckons it is a fan oven thing. I have a non fan setting so I am going to try and perfect these…..AGAIN!

    1. Misky says:

      I wish my fanoven had that sort of setting. I SOOOO want to new oven!

Please Leave a Comment. I'd Love to Hear From You.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s