Cranberry & Orange Sweet Soda Bread

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Catching up on The Great Briitish Bake Off, having recorded the show while I was on holiday, I saw this bread being baked by one of the contestants.  It looked quite delicious, so I thought I would try to make it.  The recipe is on BBC Food.

The instructions were easy to follow and since it is a soda bread it doesn’t need to be rested for proving.  I set too and soon had it made and ready for the oven.

It is important to make rather deep cuts in the rounded loaf before baking, to allow the bread to open up nicely as it cooks. One tip I gleaned from the show was that the dough shouldn’t be overworked or the texture will become tight and rather tough.

My attempt seems to have turned out quite well and it tastes very good indeed, so I am very pleased with the result.

Cranberry & Orange Sweet Soda Bread


  • 400g/14oz plain flour
  • 1 tsp table salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 50g/1¾oz caster sugar
  • 1 tsp caraway seeds
  • 50g/1¾oz unsalted butter, chilled and diced
  • 100g/3½oz dried cranberries
  • 1½ unwaxed oranges, zest only
  • 1 large free-range egg
  • 175ml/6fl oz buttermilk


  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6. Line a baking tray with baking parchment.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, salt, baking powder, caster sugar and caraway seeds. 
  3. Using your fingers, rub in the butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
  4. Mix in the cranberries and orange zest.
  5. Mix the egg and buttermilk together then stir into the dry mixture using a wooden spoon.
  6. Use your hands to bring the dough together, then turn out onto a lightly floured surface and shape into a ball. Don’t overwork the dough or the texture of the baked loaf will be too tight.
  7. Place the dough on the prepared baking tray and cut a cross into the top using a sharp knife. Bake for 30–35 minutes, or until risen and golden-brown. 
  8. Cool completely on a wire rack before serving.

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