Jay Worrall Thompson’s spicy Christmas soda bread Recipe

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1 loaf




15 min


45 min

Antony Worrall Thompson’s wife gives her recipe for this Christmas bread. Jay says: ‘Warm soda bread is perfect for Christmas morning – the children like it with butter and jam, topped with banana.’


  • 400g white flour, preferably unbleached
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • Pinch ground coriander
  • Pinch ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 50g vanilla sugar
  • Zest of 1 small orange (organic or unwaxed)
  • 100g dried cranberries
  • 450ml buttermilk


  • Preheat the oven to 220C/Gas 7

  • Sieve the first seven ingredients into a mixing bowl.

  • Next add the orange zest and dried cranberries. Make a well in the centre and pour in most of the buttermilk. Using one hand in a circular motion, mix in the flour to form a dough which is fairly soft without being too wet or sticky – add more buttermilk if necessary.

  • Turn the dough out on to a floured board. Knead just enough to tidy the package into a neat ball.

  • Pat the dough into a round 1¼ in (3 cm) deep and cut a deep cross on the surface.

  • Bake for 20 minutes on a floured baking tray then reduce the heat to 200C/4Gas 6 for another 25 minutes. To test whether cooked, tap the bottom of the bread and if it is ready it will sound hollow.

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Top Tip

Jay says: 'If you can’t get buttermilk, take 400ml of full fat milk and squeeze the juice of a lemon it. Leave for about twenty minutes until it starts to curdle.'