Honey, blue cheese and walnut soda   

We Irish are known for our soda bread and if you’re new to breadmaking, it’s a good one to start off with. However, if you are sensitive to gluten, then this isn’t the dough for you as there is no proving involved, therefore the gluten isn’t ‘worked’. Having said that, it is still much better for you than an industrial loaf as you control the ingredients and it’s quick to make. The saltiness of the blue cheese along with the sweetness of the honey and the crunch of the walnuts and granary is a combination that simply works. Experiment with flavours - anything that works on a cheeseboard will work in a bread.


  • 500g granary flour/malted flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 10g bi-carbonate of soda
  • 200g blue cheese, we use Wicklow Farmhouse
  • 50g honey
  • 100g walnuts
  • 400ml milk
  • 1 tablespoon yoghurt

Makes 1 round loaf 



Go big and bold on flavours as they are mellowed down once cooked in the bread. Even though we use a strong blue cheese, the flavour is quite subtle in the end. We infuse our honey with ginger for an extra kick. 




  1. Combine the flour, salt and bi-carbonate of soda in a bowl. Crumble in the blue cheese and mix through the flour. Don’t over mix as you want to retain little pockets of blue cheese in your mix.
  2. Form a well in the centre and add the honey and milk along with the yoghurt. Fold in the walnuts, making sure not to over mix.
  3. Grease and flour a round cake tin. Add the soda bread mix and allow to stand for two to three minutes.
  4. Preheat the oven to 200ºC/gas mark 6. Bake the soda bread for 30-40 minutes. The bread is cooked when the tip of a knife comes out clean when inserted into the centre.
  5. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool.

Recipe Series: Breaking Bread

Discover the joys of baking your own bread with expert baker Patrick Ryan of the Firehouse Bakery, who takes us back to basics and beyond.

Recipes in this series:

Patrick Ryan

Patrick Ryan

Patrick Ryan