Apple, cheese and Guinness soda bread. For real.

When I saw Hugh Fearnley-Whittingshall make this bread, I made a mental note that this would be a great pre-St. Patrick’s Day recipe to try out. And is it ever good.

Before you get intimidated by the word ‘bread’, it took me 10 minutes to make this bread – and that’s including peeling two apples and grating cheese. Nothing puts me off the idea of making bread more than the thought of dealing with yeast – letting it rise for hours and having to kneed it? No thank you. But when I saw Hugh making this bread, I knew I could handle it. This is lazy as hell bread. And it tastes gorgeous. 

The Guinness really adds an earthy taste to the bread. You wouldn’t immediately think “oh god, this bread tastes like Guinness” because it’s not recognizable. The apple and cheese also wonderfully justifies devouring a quarter of the loaf in lieu of a meal. It’s got apples and cheese. And Guinness. Guinness is good for you. 

Recipe details included after the jump … 


250g strong white flour
200g spelt flour {I used half white flour and half rice flour}
50g oats 
10g fine salt 
20g baking powder 
100g roughly chopped dessert apples,
75g grated Cheddar 
50ml sunflower oil
100ml buttermilk
250ml Guinness

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Line your baking tray with parchment, or butter / flour it in preparation. 

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flours, oats, salt, apple and 50g of the grated cheese. Mix and make a well in the center. 

Begin to add your wet ingredients. The next stage is the most important part when dealing with soda bread – the less you handle the mixture, the better. ‘Feather’ your hand out like a giant fork and gently combine the ingredients. This should take no more than a minute and the mixture should only just be combined. 

Flour your work surface, and tip your mixture on to it. Roughly shape the dough into a round {don’t knead it, just pat into shape}. Transfer onto your baking sheet and top with the remaining cheese. Bake in the oven for 35 – 40 minutes until golden brown and well risen. 

See an example of Hugh’s wonderfully lumpy bread below. I luckily read the comments section on the Channel 4 website before I made this bread, because Hugh’s original recipe calls for waaaay too much liquids. So I didn’t include half as much as the recommended amount. 

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  1. March 16, 2012 / 02:46

    wow that looks mighty fine…..I have gotten over my yeast phobia since I started making pizza dough lol…but this recipe looks so quick and easy. In advance I will say "Happy St Paddys day" to ya. I owe you an email, too. I have been in mega organizing mode around the home and can see the end in sight at long last.

    • March 20, 2012 / 16:47

      Right back at you, Janine! I spent St Patrick's Day doing a 24km walk for charity, so there was no alcohol poisoning here I'm afraid.

      Don't be silly, no need to reply to my e-mail. It was just a load of shite anyways 🙂