Six-seed Soda Bread

Six-seed Soda Bread Recipe

I finally had a chance to sit down this morning and sort through the pile of notes, menus, books, and magazines I brought back from my trip to Portland. There is a loaf of six-seed soda bread baking in the oven, a slab of butter on the counter waiting for it. I was thinking I'd share some highlights (and a couple photos) from the trip to Oregon, write up the soda bread recipe for you, then give the pot of left-over soup waiting on the back burner the signal that it's time for lunch.

Six Seed Soda Bread Recipe

If you find yourself planning a trip to Portland, you can have a look at some of the places I visited the last time I was there. I revisited a few of those on this trip, and made it to a handful of new places as well. There are also lots of great suggestions from you all in the comments section.

Six Seed Soda Bread Recipe

One of the highlights of the trip was getting outside Portland a bit. The area surrounding the city is beautiful, and we spent an entire day driving along two-lane back roads, pulling over to see waterfalls, gorges, bridges, small towns, and off-beat houses for sale. Here's a shot where Wayne surprised me while I was taking the previous picture.

Six Seed Soda Bread Recipe

On the food front, I continue to love lunch at Clyde Common, and would go back there everyday if proximity permitted. They had a buttermilk-dressed wheat berry salad on the menu that stole my heart, and an Upright Brewing Co. Farmhouse Rye Ale on tap that stole my craving for any other beer that week.

We popped over to the Little Red Bike Cafe early one morning - had fantastic coffee, a hearty breakfast, and a nice chat with Evan before heading out in the rain, and then went to stock up on an unreasonable amount of salt at The Meadow, again. Moxie Rx wasn't open during our stay, but Nancye (the owner) is an old friend of ours, and we were able to meet up with her for brunch the next day at Tasty & Sons. Also loved Navarre - their pearled farro, red celery, and parsley salad in particular. Another night we walked from the hotel downtown to Indish, and had one of the best, and most thoughtfully prepared Indian meals I've had in some time - bright, fresh, flavorful - really great.

I packed my suitcase with a number of books and publications to bring home. I bought the new issue of MIX, a smartly-done magazine focusing on Portland's food and drink culture (here's a link to their subscribe page in case you're interested). I snagged a copy of Edible Portland, a copy of Reza Mahammad's Rice, Spice, and all Things Nice, and a copy of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's River Cottage everyday.

Six Seed Soda Bread Recipe

The soda bread recipe in Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's book jumped out at me the first time I flipped through the pages. I make soda bread quite often (my favorite is actually a rye version) - it comes together in no time, with a small handful of ingredients, and you can have a loaf in the oven in under ten minutes. With a few minor tweaks to his recipe, I've also been enjoying Hugh's seeded, whole-grain flour version over the past couple of weeks. This soda bread is made with a blend of spelt flour and all-purpose flour, the dough is littered with seeds - sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, flax seeds, and fennel seeds. It takes on a nice crunchy crust, finished with more seeds on top. I like it in the morning slathered with bit of farmers cheese drizzled with honey, for lunch (like today) along with a bowl of soup, and leftovers make good croutons. If you're convinced you can't bake bread, I'd like to encourage you to give this a shot - at the very least you'll be out a bit of flour, some buttermilk, baking soda and some seeds. The upshot is you'll be able to make fresh bread any time you like.

Six-seed Soda Bread Recipe

I've been enjoying this combination of seeds, but feel free to experiment with other combinations if you prefer, based on what you have on hand, or what is available in your area. You can also make this with whole-wheat flour in place of the spelt flour.

2 1/2 tablespoons EACH sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds,
poppy seeds, flax seeds

1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 3/4 cup / 9 oz / 250 g spelt flour
2 cups / 9 oz / 250 g unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 3/4 cup / 14 oz / 400 ml buttermilk
a bit of extra buttermilk/milk

Preheat your oven to 400F / 205C. Place a rack in the center of the oven. In a small bowl combine all the seeds and set aside.

Sift the flours, baking soda, and salt into a large mixing bowl. Stir in all but 2 tablespoons of the seeds. Make a well in the flour, pour in the buttermilk, and stir until the dough just comes together. If you need to add an extra splash of buttermilk because the dough is too dry, you can. As Hugh says, "Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead lightly for about a minute, just long enough to pull it together into a loose ball but no longer - you need to get it into the oven while the baking soda is still doing its stuff."

Place the dough on a lightly floured baking sheet and mark it with a deep cross across the top, cutting two-thirds of the way through the loaf with a serrated knife. Brush with buttermilk and sprinkle with the remaining seeds, making sure plenty of seeds make it down into the cracks.

Bake for 35 - 40 minutes, or until the bread is golden crusted on top and bottom (you may want to move the oven rack up for the last 15 minute if you need more color on the top of the loaf). Cool on a wire rack.

Makes a single loaf.

Adapted from River Cottage everyday by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, published by Bloomsbury.

Prep time: 10 min - Cook time: 40 min


I send an email roughly once a week, sharing new recipes and cooking inspiration. - xo heidi
Heidi Swanson


I've always wanted to visit Portland. Your photos make it look so enchanting. The soda bread is beautiful as well- I love the 'six seed' version as traditional Irish soda bread can often be lacking a little something (although I still love it!)

Tokyo Terrace

Oh I'm definitely going to try this bread - I'm a bit of a bird when it comes to anything with seeds! Beautiful photos of Portland :-)


Wow. Wow. Wow. And did I Can't wait to toast some of this and top with avocado. Thanks:)

the French

That bread looks amazing! Very earthy indeed. I'm a big fan of seedy breads. Yum! :)


Jenn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog)

I love soda bread and will be printing this one with the seeds.

shannon abdollmohammadi

This recipe looks very easy to make. I can't wait to try it. I love earthy breads! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

Cynthia McIntyre

This looks so great! I like the idea of adding fennel seeds to soda bread. I add currants to mine when I want to make it special. Thanks for the new spin. :)

A Teenage Gourmet

I love the use of seeds in bread. Yours looks delicious. I also love the shots with the waterfall!

tobias cooks!

I love multi-grain breads! (Though their "healthiness" may be just a little overrated... remember that multigrain doesn't equal whole grain! Not in this case, though. :D) I love their texture and the big crunch of the seeds on top.

It looks absolutely lovely! :)



It looks beautiful - do you think it would veganise ok by subbing non-dairy milk and a splash of vinegar for the buttermilk? Would love to break out of my plain yeasty wholemeal bread rut.


I can just imagine this with a thick layer of fresh butter on - delicious! One thing: buttermilk isn't that easy to come by in the UK; as a substitute I use very low fat yoghurt (the kind you get from Indian food shops) mixed half and half with water. Other plain yoghurt would work if it's not too thick. Much cheaper and easier than seeking out buttermilk!


totally on my 'I have to try this' list (both the bread and a trip to Prtland I guess)! Did you ever try to prepare this bread using natural yeast (sourdough)? I am thinking about substituting baking soda with it...



Oh my, that looks amazing!

Simply Life

was just about to nod off at my desk when i came accross this image...brightened my day thinking about the smells toasty seedy bread mmm

af @ .the food.

Beautiful photos and beautiful bread! This is my kind of bread,,, easy, quick and full of texture. Yum!


This seeded version of soda bread has me salivating. Here's some interesting foodlore re soda bread: the Irish customarily made the cross in dough before baking to "let the angels out" to help it rise.

Andrea @ Fork Fingers Chopsticks

Your photos make me eager to head out west to Oregon again. Beautiful. And the bread looks delicious. Can't wait to try it.


This soda bread recipe is unreal looking. It's literally perfect, I'm envious of your photos.


That bread is positively gorgeous. Total showstopper.

The Nervous Cook

Yum! This would be such an upgrade next St. Patrick's Day.

Coco @ Opera Girl Cooks

I've shied away from making rye bread because of the yeast component, and given its natural density I was afraid what would transpire would be a fiber weighted brick. I'm glad to see this recipe, and I'm looking forward to trying it. Glad to see that you're encouraging the use of flaxseeds.

Also, thank you, thank you for posting such inspiring pictures of Portland and a helpful guide. I've been trying convince my significant other to make it out there for a change of scenery. I now have a great post to point the many lovely aspects of this idyllic coastal city.

Christine @ Fresh Local and Best

This looks delciious.. I have a large bag of whole wheat flour I'm trying to finish off.. can that be used in place of the all-pupose flour as well as the spelt flour?



I can NOT get over how beautiful your pictures ALWAYS ARE! Breathtaking!!

Annie D. @ Annie'sSimpleLife

Lovely photos! Thanks for sharing some Portland eating places!


looks great! i still haven't made that seeded flatbread you posted a while back, and have it bookmarked to remind me.

i've never been to portland. we're thinking of starting there and heading down the PCH for vacay this year, but that won't have us in portland for long!

heather @ chiknpastry

To make this 100% whole grain, what is your thoughts if I replace all-purpose flour for white whole wheat flour?

Also, what is a good flavorless oil for baking, i.e., quick breads? I've been using extra light olive oil, but I can still taste the olive taste in my baking


I recently discovered that our bodies cannot digest whole flax seeds...they go through our systems intact. In order to get the nutritional benefit from flax, the seeds need to be ground before using. The whole seeds in this bread would add character, but no nutrition.

Once again, Heidi, another recipe calling to me to be made!

On another note...I made the "Tasty Asparagus with Brown Rice" last week (came home with two+ lbs of asparagus) and had was savoring the first bites when my teen daughter walked in the front door to pick up something (she was house/pet sitting for her older sister who was on her honeymoon) and as she walked by, she stopped for a taste. Her immediate response was "that's good" and continuing to chew, "that's GOOD" with a "THAT'S GOOD!" after swallowing. Went on to get what she stopped for & headed for the door, hesitated, then turned back to the kitchen, took out a container & dished up a portion to take with her, stating "I was wondering what to do for lunch...thanks, Mom!" She gave a final "This is really good" and she was gone.

Thanks, Heidi! It WAS really good!!


anyone know a good substitute for the flour in this??

I'm a new gluten-free person (I'm intolerant not celiac) and am seriously missing soda bread so this recipe is killing me. Any help would be appreciated!


Heidi, you never stop to surprise us with the best recipes ever. I definitely will give a try to this bread, but I will substitute the spelt flour for kamut flour because is the one I can more easily find.

ps. I loved Wayne's picture.


I'm a big fan of Hugh Fearnsley-Wittingstall (plus I just love saying his name). Glad you had a great trip to Portland. If I didn't live near Seattle, I'd have to say Portland would be my next choice.

Soup's on for me as well -- Roasted pumpkin!

tom | tall clover

The seeds make it! And I've decided just now that I will be putting these seeds on everything for a little while--everything edible, that is. Thanks!

Enchanted Fig

I know I should comment first on the recipe, and it does look good...but the photos are thing that caught my eye.
Just the way I pictured the Giants Bridge on Ettinsmoor in The Silver Chair by C.S.Lewis.
Wonderful bridge, wonderful photos. Well done.


Thanks for another wonderful reipe, Heidi. Any ideas on how to replace buttermilk for the vegan palate? Also, for Pamela B--I always just add ground flax to a recipe for the nutrional value and still add the flax seed if it is called for. Two for the price of one, so to speak!


Gorgeous pictures - never been to Portland, but its definitely on the list!

I love soda breads...I often make with homemade yogurt and love how its a bread that you can start and finish in time for breakfast. Love all the seediness.


As long as you're chewing the flax seeds to break their outer husks, your body should be able to digest them (; just get to chompin' ! But you're right, the stomach can't digest whole seeds by itself.

I can't wait to rush home after work and make this, Heidi! Your photographs are beautiful, as always.


I actually think I have all the ingredients to make this tonight!

I didn't have a chance to comment on your last entry, but I think the book cover is lovely and I truly can't wait to have a SNC sister book. I also just received my first order of Rancho Gordo heirloom beans. I bought the cannelinis with the carrot, white bean and dill salad in mind and was delighted that you decided to pull that same recipe from the archives. It was absolutely delicious.

Can't wait to try this bread, either. Thank you once again.

Anne Marie

was in portland at the same time for a graduation. stayed a bit longer and was able to spend some alone, quality time with my brother which is very rare as you get older. I am from NM so drizzly, rainy weather is such a treat. Didn't go to any of these places, but spent an entire morning in our PJs drinking coffee (coffee tastes so good in rainy NW) just talking and laughing. Went to Joe's Crab Shack. Yes, I know it is a is across the river but the view of the Columbia River, the bridge, the rain was to die for.


Love it when we get to see a different, and definitely more interesting, perspective of Multnomah Falls! Beautiful!!

Dina Avila

We are in Portland often, as my brother lives there. I have a serious weakness for Italian, and specifically a place called Gino's on 13th in Sellwood (it is in the old Lipzeig Tavern). They use local, sustainable ingredients. Their menu only has 4-5 regular items on it, the rest depends on what they can get from their farmers that week. Amazing food, amazing people working there, such a great vibe overall, and best of all, supporting local farmers!

D. Smith

Looking at off-beat houses for sale!? You're not leaving SF, I hope! Though if I left, I'd be checking out Portland for sure too. Is there anything you're not telling us? Not like we have a right to know, but still :-)

HS: Hi Eve, As much as I love Portland, I think SF will be my home for some time to come. I love looking at neat properties for sale in other cities though :)


Heidi, I was SO hoping you'd include this recipe after your earlier comments about it. Thank you!


Dear Heidi, Love your pictures and this soda bread looks amazing. Thanks every so much.


Sounds delicious, Heidi...llove the pictures and this recipe looks perfect...I may try this out with a few chia seeds, as well!

The Healthy Apple

Love this recipe...just a warning about the sunflower seeds which turn green...a brilliant green as a reaction to the soda....doesn't affect the taste but it kind of freaks you out the first time you see it...

Kathy Scott

Looks delicious, Heidi... and beautiful shots!

@ meg: You could use 1 1/2 cups of brown rice flour and 1/2 cup almond or chickpea flour to make it gluten-free.

Meghan (Making Love In The Kitchen)

Hi Heidi, I'm eating a warm slice of this bread as I type. I did a few tweaks to the recipe that should be worth mentioning: as I didn't have spelt flour, I substituted rye flour; and because I'm a vegan, I substituted the buttermilk for rice milk mixed with lemon juice (1 tablespoon lemon juice for 3/4 cup of milk). It turned out super yummy! Thank you for sharing such great recipes. Love, Joana

HS: Thanks for reporting back so quickly Joana! It's really helpful.


Hi Heidi!

I've been looking into traveling to Oregon recently, in fact, Hood River made my Top 25 list of places to travel. I was wondering if you remember where you took this photo? It's absolutely breathtaking! Thanks!

HS: Hi Chelsea, those are Multnomah Falls. Be sure to walk up to the upper bridge!


That looks splendid! I'm experimenting with spelt flour and wondering if I can go all spelt instead of using all-purpose. Trial and error in my kitchen these days!

Michelle @ Find Your Balance

We have such a close love for Portland. Exceptional news to hear many of the places I used to love are still thriving. Funnily I know about the Little Red Bike Cafe because a few months before they were set to open, they all took one of my pie making classes there.

And soda bread? I can't stop making it myself. In lieu of British books, I can't recommend Dan Lepard's The Handmade Loaf enough. Dan is a master baker and photographer & a bread anthropologist. I can't wait for you to tuck into it.

HS: I'm a fan (of both Portland & Dan) - I follow him on Twitter. Hope all is well w/ you. xo -h

shuna fish lydon

Looks delicious!
Do you have the recipe for the Rye Soda Bread, too!?!

Here Be Dragons

I have a heavy skillet with a lid and one induction plate in the place where I am staying at the moment. Can I use this recipe as a skillet bread? Any other suggestions for cooking here? I am finding it very limiting.


Fennel seeds taste so wonderful when the bread is toasted. I make a seven grain bread with fennel. The aroma stimulates the appetite!


Beautiful photos, Heidi. Your trip sounds wonderful and so does that bread. I buy the Seeduction bread at Whole Foods as often as I can because I am literally addicted to it. I think I'll skip the store and just start making this one from now on. It looks hearty and delicious!

Natalie (The City Sisters)

I moved to portland over 6 years ago from the North Bay and have been in love with this town since. One of the things that keep me here is the food. Some recommendations for the next trip:

Food Carts, espeacially the ones downtown on SW 3rd and Washington/Stark and in N Greeley and Killingsworth

Deteor Cafe on SE division and 28 for frittatas, their homemade cardamom toast and baked home fries.

Old Wives Tale on SE Burnside and 12th for great lunch and breakfast options with fresh seasonal veggies and friendly with people with dietary restrictions (the menu lists every ingredient).

The farmer's market on Saturdays at PSU


oh and Limbo for the Wall of herbs, bulk herbs and tea (over 700!)


I just got back from a weekend in Portland--it's such a wonderful food city, and of course, Powell's is a destination in it's own right. Your pictures are beautiful, and the bread looks divine!

The Rowdy Chowgirl

I am living in Cape Town, South Africa and this bread looks so good I have to try it but what is spelt flour? Don't know the name!


Indish is one of our favorite restaurants! We found it when the vegetarian restaurant our iPhone recommended was no longer in business. We went for a walk around the neighborhood and were immediately drawn to Indish. Great food! Great logo and we thoroughly enjoyed talking to the owner who served our table while his wife slaved in the kitchen HA! I've put all your restaurant recommendations in my iPhone and we'll give each of them a try this weekend on our trip to Portland. Thanks!


Heidi- Please know I adore your site and check it religiously and have made a ton of your recipes! That being said, you've done a lot of baking recipes lately... could you do some more entrees please? I'm looking for some great new ones to throw into my routine. Maybe some that don't have expensive herbs that a college student like me can afford. =) Thanks a bunch and keep up the outstanding blog. I love it!!!


This is the first bread I have ever made -- and it turned out GREAT! I had to use a fair amount more buttermilk than it called for (closer to a cup) to get it all to bind together.

Very fun -- thank you.

Also, Portland is the greatest. Except that its still raining, but I love it none the less.


Your photographs are fantastic. What breathtaking images!
Your soda bread also looks really good. I enjoy all kinds of seeds in my bread.

my little expat kitchen

Hi from Cape Town, We are really lucky to get some really good quality flour groan down here that is natural and organic,.We have the soccer world cup starting next week and lots of friends around, so will definatly be making this to soak up some of the Beer.


I would try this in a cast iron dutch oven, or a skillet - I know the Irish often do their soda breads in a cast-iron skillet. Turns out great.

Not sure if i would put the lid on.... I think not.

Looks amazing, I'm debating doing it right now!


Heidi - that photo of the bridge in the forest is one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen. And your trip sounds amazing - I've been wanting to visit Portland (and Seattle) for a long time, and you've just further confirmed my need to get there! I live in New England, so I've got to start saving my pennies! :-)Thanks, as always, for sharing your beautiful images, healthy recipes, and artistic insight!


Did I really want to heat my kitchen since I haven't turned on the air conditioning yet? But I did have buttermilk left over from making coconut cupcakes. Would "quick" bread be a match for the delicious artisan bread I purchase at my local tail gate? But then I did have buttermilk to use up.

I decided to go for a hot kitchen AND to use the buttermilk. AND . . . the bread was delicious, chewy, and had texture that I couldn't imagine from a soda bread recipe. I toasted slices for breakfast this a.m. and will make croutons to top the fresh local salad greens.

Thanks for encouraging all to try the recipe!


TO BEN: Spelt flour in Dutch is speltbloem, maybe it's the same in Afrikaans. Hope that helps you find it.


Hi Ben, try the local health shops. I am also in SA and you can usually get it at your local hideously expensive organic health food shop. I'd probably use all plain bread flour though - or a mix of white and wholewheat bread flour.


2 words:fennel and buttermilk

(well also love soda bread) 3? and this one looks delicious


I write about the different bread machine models and also share cool recipes I find for bread machines and this one is definitely going to be tested soon.

Thanks for sharing.


Bread Machine Reviews

Perfect timing; I've been playing around with Irish soda bread recipes. This one looks wonderful - all that great crunch.

Now I have another recipe to try!


This looks amazing! I have a slight problem, I am currently living in Spain and my oven has no temperature control, it is a gas oven that only can be turned on at the top or the bottom, never together. I have made banana bread once and it turned out well, but I really can't get a good idea of a setting that correlates with a temperature because it continuously gets hotter and hotter....anyone ever worked with this? THanks!


I just got back from Gearhart, Oregon. I am sooo in love with that place. When I retire, I want a little place on the coast of Oregon. It's really heavenly....

Rocky Mountain Woman

Heidi...a gorgeous recipe for sure. So glad you enjoyed your most recent trip to Portland. It's a slice of heaven that too many overlook. As much as I enjoyed the Bay Area farmers markets while I lived in Marin, the Portland area has them all beat. Come back to visit again and be sure to dine at Le Pigeon.


That waterfall is gorgeous!


I am planning a trip to Portland in just a few weeks! Am definitely noting your suggestions. Oh, and that bread looks fantastic as well :)


This looks awesome! Can't wait to try it. Heidi, how did you get those books? Reza's book is available on Amazon, but the River Cottage book won't be available for a while. They are both imported titles.



mmm We're supposed to have a thunderstorm tomorrow night. The perfect time to whip this bread up!


The six-seeded bread looks BEAUTIFUL! Can't wait to try it. How do you stay so slim looking taste testing all this wonderful stuff? Please print THAT recipe!!

Bev Bee

I have never made soda bread...however I have made a lot of yeast bread. I am really looking forward to trying this recipe! The seeds are what drew me into this recipe for sure! The photo of the bread is gorgeous!



Here is a great website for Gluten free flours alreay premixed.


I use Hugh's River Cottage Every day cook book well nearly every day! Your photos are even nicer than the ones in the book. I really wish I was having this for breakfast today.


What a gorgeous loaf. The more seeds the better in my opinion. I am so making this today. I might have to substitute the spelt flour, as I still haven't found a suitable translation in Bulgarian.

Casey Angelova

If you live outside of the U.S. and have a hard time finding buttermilk, but have access to a middle eastern grocery, Leban makes a good substitute (I actually think it IS buttermilk).


I'm currently working in Cape Verde and you can't find buttermilk around here so I tried the tip with half yoghurt, half water and it worked well! The bread is delicious.
Also it is very difficult to find seeds, I used what I had on hand, fennel, kardamon and some flax seeds.
Next time I'll try with some nuts!

Thank you for this great recipe, love it


Great photography. Brown is such a difficult color for food photography and you've captured it beautifully - it looks delicious.


I tried your zucchini bread recipe yesterday on my lunch hour and just wanted to tell you it turned out perfectly! I put all the batter into 1 large round cake pan (a non-stick dark one, not glass), baked at 350 for 40 minutes, then turned off the oven and left it to finish cooking with the residual heat (so I could go back to work). When I got home it had puffed up beautifully over the top and was moist and delicious. Thanks Heidi! What a great way to use up all our zucchini!

Megan DeLong

Pamela is right - flax seeds either need to be ground dry / powdered or soaked or used as oil for assimilation into the system....


I just made this bread tonight ( I used flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, and poppy seeds and WW flour in place of the spelt. I actually only used 1/2 C AP flour total) and it turned out so delicious. I loved the crunch and extra nutrition that the seeds added. I served it with your broccoli-cheddar soup and everyone loved it. Now I'm looking forward to a slice with lunch!

Thanks for another great recipe Heidi- you are truly an inspiration!


I went to Portland last month for a week and used a lot of your tips of places to go. Have to say that Clyde Commons was my favorite.


You have a gift of making everything in your life so delicious! Portland and bread included.

Meghan (Making Love In The Kitchen)

Wow Heidi your photos of the waterfall are stunning! Thanks for the inspiration!

emma. our kitchen

I've been making soda bread for its simplicity and taste ... love it! I really like the looks of this and will try this either tonight or tomorrow for sure. Thanks for sharing.

Linda from NJ

Yum. I have always loved soda bread. Growing up, my Mom would make it to go along with soup when we were out of bread in the house.

Jealous of your trip to Portland. Getting closer to my neck of the woods :)

The Leftoverist

I can't wait to try this bread. Think it's okay to use roasted flax seeds that we purchase at health food store? Beautiful pictures!


YUM! I have left over spelt from your Olive Oil, Rosemary cake that I loved! So I am going to use some of the spelt flour for this!!!!! Looks awesome


Wow, what a beautiful loaf of bread.


wow the bread looks really interesting! congratulations on your new book btw! :D

cathy x

I have been inspired to bake some hearty bread! Thanks.


I love baking all types of bread and soda bread is one of my favorites. I'll try your recipe.
Thank you!!

Elisabet Figueras

That looks great, I should try to bake it sometime! Great blog by the way.


Very delicious recipe. I tried it today and my husband loves it. Thanks a lot for sharing this yummy and healthy recipe.

Evan Warner

nice post. thanks.

pharmacy technician

I love how the tones of the soda bread and your Portland pictures are totally in sync. Have you seen Parker Fitzgerald's pictures on Flickr? He lives in Portland and does really fantastic work with film and digital.


I've made your Irish Mum's Bread recipe dozens of time, all with great success. Can't wait to try this one.

lisa w

Hi~ I am an English learner and I am a baking green hand. I like your pictures and smooth words~


That's such a beautiful photo with the bridge and waterfall! It's as picturesque as the Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria... I'm blown away!

paris @ home appliances

I made this for a family get-together and followed the recipe exactly. Sadly, nobody could eat more than a mouthful as it was far too salty in taste


i tried this using all purpose non-gluten flour and golden raisins instead of one of the seeds and it looked just like yours--beautiful! it was delicious and fast. perfect for when you want home made bread but don't want to wait all those hours for the rising. we ate it with a cream cheese dip that inluded roasted cumin seeds, peppercorns, a whole head of roasted garlic, cilantro, turkish red pepper flakes and salt. fabulous! thank you!


I just made this bread using gluten free all purpose flour with the spelt flour, and rice milk and a little vinegar instead of buttermilk (got a lactose problem). The dough was super thin and runny and I had to add almost 2 cups more flour to make it usable! I followed the measurements carefully, but am wondering if the thinner "milk" was the problem...anybody have any thoughts on this? it's baking right now and looks okay - not running off the baking pan so far!

ibby jenkins

For the people who don't have buttermilk or just don't have it handy, add one tablespoon of white vinegar to one cup of milk and let it stand a few minutes.
I prefer buttermilk but use this instead of a trip to the store.

Aunt Jane

Hi Heidi,
I've read so many of your posts and I love the pictures you post. I'm out in Portland and was really excited to see that you've made a post about our local foodies.

Might I add some suggestions for the next time you stop by? There's a fantastic cafe that's downtown called Chef Naoko Bento Cafe, started by a Japanese woman who really holds to the local organic route and makes really beautiful and delicious Japanese meals with them. Another suggestion is Tastebud, a wood-fire inspired dining space, which is nestled away in southeast Portland. I hope you get the chance to experience more of the local flavors next time you're in town!


Must say... I am busily making notes on this recipe... addition suggestions and such... I too am crazy for anything seeded and my favorite bread my children have long called moms 'birdseed' bread... I look forward to trying this... The pictures are amazing... Lovely to see... almost as lovely as my Nova Scotia... were soda bread is common as our population is largely Scottish in heritage... Thank you for sharing...


Hey there, this is the first time I have opened your site. Very interesting. I am a wonderful cook, old south food mostly, and have written a couple of cookbooks, I would love you to help me get them exposed to the world, your site is so amazing, so much info and love the recipes. Good job. Thank you! rita

Rita Johnson

Portland makes my heart sing, so I love reading about your go-to places and new haunts on each trip. In my opinion you can't go to Portland without a stay at the Ace, coffee at Stumptown, lunch at Clyde Common, happy hour at Deschutes or Bridgeport, dinner at The Farm, and a gibassier from the Pearl Bakery. All while walking for hours and lingering at Powells.

Laura (the Dandizette)

i made this bread and LOVED the aroma and flavor! however, just two days after making it i noticed that the sunflower seeds turned green. is this normal? is it still edible? i wonder if this may be due to the ph interaction of the soda and seeds. i was wondering if you knew how to prevent this. should i have kept the bread in the frig? i would appreciate your insight.

thanks for another amazing recipe.

kat libot

I love all the street food in Portland. Hundreds of permanently stationed carts with lots of innovative food.


I made this bread substituting WW flour as some things are impossible to find in Baja. It has a rather dense and chewy crumb, delicious nutty flavor, and I think because of the seeds, retains its moisture and doesn't turn to cement on Day 2! We're actually on Day 3 of the loaf and making toast. Delicious with the local honey.
I like this recipe a lot and will give it a go in a loaf pan to see how it responds.
The protein content makes it a great accompaniment to soup and/or salad for us macrobiotic types.
Thank you for a brilliant recipe.


I made this from what I had available, without the fennel, sunflower and poppy seeds, and substituted plain yogurt and milk for the buttermilk ( It was beautiful! I'm definitely going to make it throughout the winter here in Australia.


So gorgeous, that looks like Multnomah Falls. I spent a lot of time in that area when I was growing up. I am pleased to see that I am not the only one smitten by Clyde Common. It is my favorite place to eat in PDX.


Your pictures are lovely, both of your trip and the bread. I also just received a copy of River Cottage Everyday as a gift and yesterday I was contemplating what to make first. :-)

Another fast bread to serve with soup is a Whole Wheat Gem--a little muffin that's savoury and very easy to make.


I just made this bread. I love Irish soda bread, but with the seeds and fennel, it is so tasty! Thanks for all the wonderful recipes! Yum!


I'm a huge fan of soda bread. Used to make an amazing one in college with bananas, but couldn't find the recipe now if my life depended on it :(


I made this bread on saturday, instead of a big loaf I made 8 rolls... today it's tuesday, there's no bread left! They are so great after my morning run or with some butternut squash soup... delicious!

Adriana from Baking Powders

Hi Heidi, I am in a "help me" moment. I made this bread last night and it was delicious(substituted rice milk for buttermilk) and the next morning I went to have it for lunch and some of the seeds have turned a greenish/teal color! It has never happened to me before. I didn't know if it has ever happened to you or what it means! My first thought was mold--but it is on the inside of the bread as well. Any pointers would be much appreciated! ~Nicole


Answered my own question now--the sunflower seeds when mixed with baking soda turns a green color. I never knew that before! Any pointers on how to avoid that? Should I add lemon juice or was my baking soda not mixed in enough?


I’ve recently started a blog, the information you provide on this site has helped me tremendously. Thank you for all of your time & work.

medical assistant

I made this for my family tonight and it was delicious. The dough was surprisingly soft (maybe because I used buttermilk powder), but it turned out fine. I could not find fennel seeds, so I left them out. I will definitely make this again. Maybe next time I will shape the loaf like a French bread... Thanks!


Maybe you already answered this, but where in Portland is that waterfall? I've been there a handful of times and would much rather see this than take another trip to Powell's (although Powell's is great, but it's the only thing people ever recommend when I go to Portland). Please let me know. Thanks.


I just made this bread. It's great. Wasn't sure about the fennel as I can't stand Italian sausage and that's the only thing I know that has Fennel in it. But it is such a small amnt of fennel it worked out fine. I made 2 loaves. Ran out of spelt for the second loaf and just filled in w/ more all purpose flour. Still great. I made it for dinner but am looking forward to leftovers for breakfast toast. thanks again!


Made this last night and thought the two of us would devour the entire loaf in one sitting. It was really delicious! I am looking forward to trying it again with rye flour!


I loved this soda bread--making it today for the 3rd time! Any chance you could share your favorite soda bread recipe too--the rye version?


I received my first loan when I was a teenager and that supported my business very much. Nevertheless, I require the car loan once again.


I could imagine this with Rye instead. It looks very good. I went out and bought all the ingredients last night and hope to make some tonight, even though I am very busy!

Gluten Free Bread Machine

This bread is terrific! I used caraway seeds, as I did not have fennel or flax seed on hand, nice rye flavor and so good toasted as well. My tile installer smelled it baking and said it was reminiscent of a bread his mom made....I will be baking it for him, since he has two weeks of tile work to do!!! Best way to getting a job well done is to feed them well.
Thanks again Heidi for another great recipe

Lynn Boneberg

Yum! I just made a spelt/ rice/ potato flour version of this and it came out so delicious, soft and moist. Very unlike the gluten-free bread disasters I've been making lately! The kids loved eating it for lunch, thanks again Heidi :-)


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