Fennel, Buttermilk and Spelt Soda Bread…with memories

In the world of baking, some recipes are more than just a combination of ingredients; they are a tapestry of memories, tradition, and flavors that have stood the test of time. Such is the case with Fennel, Buttermilk, and Spelt Soda Bread. This humble yet extraordinary bread tells a story of family gatherings, cherished moments, and the comforting aroma of home.

The Heart of Soda Bread

Soda bread is a staple in many households, particularly in Ireland, where it has a long and cherished history. What sets soda bread apart is its use of baking soda (bicarbonate of soda) as a leavening agent instead of yeast. This results in a quick and easy bread that requires minimal effort but delivers maximum satisfaction.

The Essence of Fennel

The star of this particular soda bread variation is fennel. Fennel seeds, with their distinctive anise-like flavor, impart a subtle sweetness and aromatic complexity to the bread. They have been a beloved addition to bread recipes for generations, lending their unique essence to loaves passed down through the ages.

The Magic of Buttermilk

Buttermilk is another essential ingredient in this soda bread recipe. Its tangy, acidic nature reacts with the baking soda, creating the characteristic rise and texture of soda bread. Buttermilk also adds a rich, creamy flavor that complements the nuttiness of spelt flour and the aromatic fennel seeds perfectly.

The Nutty Goodness of Spelt

Spelt flour, an ancient grain with a nutty and slightly sweet flavor, completes the trio of essential ingredients. Spelt adds depth and a rustic character to the bread, making each bite a wholesome and delightful experience.

Baking Memories

What truly makes Fennel, Buttermilk, and Spelt Soda Bread special is the memories it carries. This bread often finds its way to family gatherings, where it’s baked with love and shared with joy. Whether it’s a cozy Sunday brunch, a holiday celebration, or simply a weekday meal, this bread has the power to evoke nostalgia and warmth.

A Recipe to Treasure

Here’s a simplified version of the recipe, one that you can start creating your own memories with:


  • 2 cups spelt flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk


  1. Preheat Your Oven: Preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C). Place a baking sheet or cast-iron skillet in the oven to heat.
  2. Mix Dry Ingredients: In a large bowl, combine the spelt flour, baking soda, salt, and fennel seeds.
  3. Add Buttermilk: Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, and pour in the buttermilk. Mix until a dough forms.
  4. Shape and Score: Turn the dough onto a floured surface and shape it into a round loaf. Use a sharp knife to score an “X” on top.
  5. Bake: Carefully remove the hot baking sheet or skillet from the oven. Place the dough on it and bake for 15 minutes at 425°F (220°C). Then reduce the oven temperature to 400°F (200°C) and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes until the bread sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.
  6. Cool and Enjoy: Allow the bread to cool on a wire rack. Once cooled, slice and savor the delightful flavors of fennel, buttermilk, and spelt in each bite.


Fennel, Buttermilk, and Spelt Soda Bread is more than just a recipe; it’s a journey through time, a celebration of tradition, and a testament to the power of food to bring people together. As you bake this bread and create your own memories, you’ll understand why some recipes are meant to be cherished, passed down, and shared with love. Enjoy every slice, and may it be a part of your family’s culinary story for generations to come.

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