Potato soda bread recipe with cheese, garlic & thyme

Potato soda bread with cheese, garlic & thyme
Kaethe from SPUDS (The Sustainable Potatoes United Development Study!) in Ireland said:

Cheesy, garlicky soda bread made w/blight resistant Blue Danubes sounds fab, but where is the recipe? Any new take on soda bread ROCKS for us Irish, especially if it incorporates SPUDS…Send a link pronto!

Who can resist a request like that? Not me 🙂

The Blue Danube potato are a part of a selection of potato varieties I am trialling for the far-sighted people at the Savari Research Trust who are developing these highly blight resistant potatoes. These potatoes are more sustainable to grow because they do not need the frequent chemical treatment and other energy dense maintenance of conventional varieties.

As you can imagine, that’s a tough gig. Specially as I’m trying to come up with some novel recipes too.

This bread is almost addictive. The potato in it makes the bread moist and tender unlike many soda breads that can seem hard and dry. The mixture of cheese, garlic and thyme makes it wonderfully savoury. It’s great as it is; slathered with good butter; toasted and topped with a fresh poached egg or eaten with (leek & potato) soup.

If you want to find out how to make it, please read on…

Potato soda bread recipe with cheese, garlic & thyme

I don’t use bought self raising flour and prefer to mix plain flour & baking powder. If you use SR, just replace the weight of the plain flour with SR, the weight difference of the added baking powder will make little difference.

This recipe is adapted from the one in the great book Leith’s Vegetarian Bible by Polly Tyrer.

Potato soda bread with cheese, garlic & thyme crust


350g plain flour (I used wholemeal spelt flour for its nutty taste and lovely colour)
7 tsps baking powder
2 tsps fine sea salt
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper or finely ground chillies (or more to taste)
1 tbsp fresh or dried thyme leaves (dill, rosemary or chives would also work well)
1 free range egg
3 cloves garlic, peeled & mashed or grated (you can use more to taste, or roasted/confit garlic)
1 tbsp dijon mustard
150g mature cheddar cheese (or use your favourite cheese)
350g peeled weight of Blue Danube potatoes (other varieties are available 😉 Use a more floury type rather than a waxy potato)
100g milk/yoghurt/buttermilk/whey (You may not need all of this, see the Method below)


Preheat an oven to 200C. Get ready a baking tray covered with greaseproof paper, Bake-o-glide or similar or grease it well and flour it to prevent the dough sticking.

Sieve the flour, baking powder, salt and cayenne into a large bowl. And the thyme and give a few stirs to ensure it’s all mixed well.

In a small bowl or mug, beat the egg and then add the garlic and mustard to it and mix well.

Grate the cheese and potatoes on to the sieved flour mix. Add the egg/garlic/mustard mix. Mix well with a knife, spatula or your hands. (Alternatively, Helen at A Kentish Kitchen suggests you could dice the cheese for a burst of flavour.)

Gradually add some of the milk/yoghurt/whey and mix in with your hands. You want the dough to be soft and just sticky.  So add liquid gradually. As soon as you add the liquid, the baking powder will start to work, so work swiftly and thoroughly.

Bring the dough together into a ball and put onto your baking tray.

Cut part way down into a cross and bake for 30-40 minutes until cooked through and you have a nice crust.

If you can wait, put the cooked bread onto a cooling tray and allow to cool before slicing.

You may also like my recipe for oatmeal soda bread.



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17 responses to “Potato soda bread recipe with cheese, garlic & thyme”

  1. […] making up something to cook on the fire. This week I elected to try another of Carl Legge’s recipes – for Potato, cheese and garlic soda bread, perhaps ambitiously to be cooked in the Dutch Oven […]

  2. welshhillsagain Avatar

    That sounds fab. We make all our bread and I thought I had soda bread cracked but this recipe is making me salivate. Will try.

    1. Carl Avatar

      Just catching up… Glad you like it, let me know how it went/goes 🙂

  3. Le Petit Potager Avatar

    After I make your kefir butter; I’ll make some of your wonderful bread with the excess kefir I have.

  4. Jules Avatar

    Ooo I love a good soda bread. My Northern Irish hubbie makes a wonderful one with buttermilk. He’s a bit precious about adaptations to it but I guess an Irishman isn’t going to complain about the addition of potato!

    1. Carl Avatar

      Hi Jules

      I hope this one would get past the Irish soda bread censors for that reason 🙂 Hope you enjoy it if you make it

  5. lindasgarden Avatar

    Awesome post Carl I have never tried soda bread as yet I tried making some Dorset wiggs but they seem nice but not sure if they proved properly as I had no were to prove so put cling film over and left in microwave to prove without putting the microwave on

  6. VP Avatar

    I’m becoming a real fan of soda bread – quick and easy to do when you have surprise guests suddenly appear. So far my favourite has been using dry fried pumpkin and sunflower seeds, but this looks delish.

    I’ll be interested to hear how you get on with your potato trial. So far the Sarpo ones I’ve tried have been great growing, but rubbish cooking/flavour wise.

    1. David Shaw Avatar

      VP, I wonder if you have tried the whole range of Sarpo varieties? There are seven and they all have different tastes and textures. Most people, like myself, really like their taste and use them all the time. They keep well too. Carl, can’t wait to try and will report back with results. Keep up the good work. David

      1. Carl Avatar

        Aha – David you echo my thoughts on the tastes and textures.

        I’ll look forward to hear how you get on with the soda bread 🙂

        More spud recipes to come…

      2. VP Avatar

        Hi David – thanks for responding. I’ve tried mira and axona – tried them the very first year they were available in fact and still trying because I really want them to work. They look fantastic when harvested, but they’re really dry inside and cook away to a transparent tasteless nothing when boiled and don’t chip/roast/bake well either. As I said to Carl after his reply to me, I’m wondering if it’s the limestone clay that affects them.

        1. David Shaw Avatar

          Now this is getting very interesting and potatoey.Sorry, Carl, we are getting off subject here. Anyway, we need to find out why VP’s Sarpos on her (his?) limestone clay are so disappointing:. lots of experiments come to mind including swapping of tubers at harvest and sending me a sample of your soil. We know that growing any variety in different conditions CAN produce a different spud but this sounds extreme! David..

          1. VP Avatar

            Hi David – perhaps for the sake of Carl’s fine post and comments we can take this offline if you want. I checked my spuds last night and see it’s Gwyn being tried this year 🙂

    2. Carl Avatar

      Hi Michelle

      The pumpkin & seed soda sounds just great, I’ll remember that for later in the year.

      I’ve tried a few of the Sarpo varieties now: mira, kefli, blue danube and axona. And they all have their niche as to where I’d prefer to cook them and the taste that they have. My experience is that I’m very happy with the taste they give from earthy on the mira to sweet on the axona for example.

      I’ll continue to play and keep you up to date with my thoughts.

      1. VP Avatar

        I’ve tried mira and axona several times and been disappointed every time. Perhaps they don’t like limestone clay. Slugs love them too 🙁

        However, I’m trying them again this year!

  7. Joanna Avatar

    Does it make a difference using raw or cooked mashed potato do you think? It sounds just the ticket for this time of year and one could waltz round the kitchen while it is baking 🙂

    1. Carl Avatar

      Hi Joanna

      I think it would affect the degree of moisture and the texture. You may be able to see in the pictures that there are strands of the potato, so it’s not dissolved. I have lots more baking with the potatoes to do with a few mashed spud recipes to try. So I’ll let you know.

      I guess the other thing is that, if you’re starting from scratch, then the grated spud is quicker unless you have mashed spud hanging around 😀

      Carl x