spelt baconAh, it may be the simplest of loaves but don’t be fooled as soda bread can be delicious. The use of rich, nutty wholemeal spelt flour and the classic bacon and shallot filling makes this quick loaf a useful recipe to have on hand.


Makes one medium sized loaf

Takes about 25 minutes’ preparation time (most of this is the bacon and shallots!) and 30 minutes in the oven

The delightful people at Craggs & Co where I order my spelt flour from have kindly added this to their website.


  • 2 shallots
  • 100g lean bacon (or about 5 slices)
  • 450g wholegrain spelt flour
  • 1tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1tsp salt
  • 1tbsp cider or white wine vinegar
  • 245ml milk


  • Set your oven 220°C fan / 240°C conventional
  • Lay a piece of greaseproof paper in the bottom of a baking tray and dust lightly with a little extra flour
  • Peel and finely dice the shallots
  • Remove the majority of the fat off the bacon and cut into fine shreds
  • Fry the shallots and bacon together in a lightly oiled frying pan until both are starting to brown (and the bacon is cooked throughout)
  • Drain the bacon and shallots on a piece of kitchen towel to remove excess oil and then toss into the flour
  • In a large bowl, roughly mix together the flour, salt and bicarbonate of soda
  • Tip 1 tablespoon of cider vinegar into a measuring jug and top up to the 260ml mark with milk
  • Put the milk and vinegar into the flour and quickly begin to mix (you must mix without delay as the bicarbonate is already starting to work)
  • Bring the dough together until it is thoroughly mixed and the bacon and shallots are evenly spread but don’t overwork it.  You do not need to knead as with a yeast-leavened bread
  • Form into a round or oval shape and, using a long sharp knife, make a deep cross in the dough (you want to cut about 90% through the loaf, just leaving a little join on the bottom)
  • Place immediately in the middle on the oven
  • Cook for 10 minutes and then turndown your oven heat to 200°C fan / 220°C conventional for another 20 minutes
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