Donegal Table: Irish Bacon and Cheese Soda Bread

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‘There’s something about the smell of fresh soda bread in an Irish Donegal home and we need to keep this baking skill alive’, says chef and cookery school owner Brian McDermott in his book ‘Donegal Table‘ published by The O’Brien Press. ‘I’ve made this Irish soda bread recipe a bit more exciting with the wonderful combination of flavours that is bacon and cheese.’

Makes one large loaf


3 rashers dry-cured bacon, finely chopped
225 g self-raising flour
100 g strong cheese, grated
40 g butter
100 ml buttermilk


1. Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/Gas Mark 5. Lightly grease a baking tray.

2. Fry the bacon on a dry, hot pan.

3. Sieve the flour into a bowl and add the grated cheese and bacon.

4. Melt the butter and add to the buttermilk. Pour into the flour mix and form a dough by gently mixing.

5. Turn out onto a floured surface and gently shape into a round. Cut a cross on top of the bread and transfer it to the greased baking tray.

6. Bake for 40 minutes.

7. Allow to cool before slicing and serve with real Irish butter.

Brian’s Tip
Store in an airtight container. For a warm breakfast option, toast a slice and serve with poached eggs.

BRIAN MCDERMOTT is an award-winning chef who is passionate about sharing his love of food with others. As a host, presenter and demonstrator, he is one of the most sought-after chefs on the Irish food-festival circuit. He also runs his own cookery school in Moville, County Donegal and is a food consultant to some of the best-known names in Irish food. He is the author of the successful cookery book Reunite with Food and is a regular on RTÉ and BBC television and radio, and in the local and national press. He lives in Moville with his wife, Brenda, and daughters, Niamh and Aoife.

Where to buy the Donegal Table
You’ll find the Donegal Table on sale at good bookstores in Ireland, at our Amazon link below and at the O’Brien Press online store.


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