Wild Garlic Soda Bread (and a trip to Moate!)


Before yesterday, the only other book launches I’ve been to have been in Dublin, there have been opportunities to go to others but they proved just a bit too far away on a school night. I always bring the girl with me, she likes meeting cookbook authors, getting books signed, posing for photographs and having a day off school. So she was thrilled last week when I told her we’d be going to the launch of Apron Strings by Nessa Robins. I told her she’d have to do her homework AS SOON as she came in from school, there’d be no time for messing about. She looked at me, somewhat puzzled, and said, “But I won’t have homework because I’m not going to school.”

I couldn’t figure out why she thought she wasn’t going to school, “We’re going to the book launch aren’t we?” she said.


I said to her, “You know it’s at 6pm don’t you? ”

Blank stare.

“And that it’s only in Moate?” (i.e. the same county as us)


She was awful disappointed, she thought she was getting a day off school and some shopping time in Penneys Dublin. Until I told her there would be cake. We’re quite partial to a bit of cake…

Well, I can confirm, she wasn’t disappointed. We decided there and then that we wanted to bring Nessa home with us so she could bake for us. We spent a lovely couple of hours chatting with fellow food bloggers, scoffing cakes and drinking tea before heading home armed with a copy of Apron Strings (which I will tell you all about in a future post because I haven’t read it properly yet – but I can confirm that there has been much drooling over pictures!) Below is a small selection of pictures from last night:


A small section of the goodies table!



photo taken by The Girl

The boy was not impressed that our other signed cookbooks haven’t had his name on so I asked Nessa to sign the book to me and him (our names obviously ..) he was delighted with it this morning!


Nessa signing books

Here’s the goodies table just before we left:





Wild Garlic Soda Bread

As mentioned here, I’ve been absolutely DYING to make a Wild Garlic Soda bread. It went down so well with the family that I was just sorry that I had only baked one, it disappeared so quickly! It’s adapted from the Basic White Soda Bread recipe from The Ballymaloe Cookbook by Myrtle Allen.

4-5 wild garlic leaves finely chopped
450g plain flour
1/2tsp sugar
1/2tsp salt
1/2tsp bicarbonate of soda
400ml buttermilk


Preheat the oven to 230c.

Finely chop the Wild Garlic leaves.

Sift the dry ingredients together and mix in the leaves.

Make a well in the centre.

Pour in the milk gradually and mix together making sure the mixture isn’t too dry.

Turn out onto a floured board, knead lightly for a few minutes. Shape into a round shape and place on a flat baking tray or in a greased loaf tin if you prefer. I find that in my house there are less arguments over who has the biggest slice of bread if I bake it in a loaf tin!

Cut a cross into the bread if it’s a round or a line if in a loaf tin.

Bake in the oven for 30-45 minutes.

To test, tap the bottom of the bread, it will sound hollow if it’s done.

Turn onto a wire rack to cool (wrap in a clean tea towel first if you want a softer crust).





  1. Mo. Upchurch says:

    Wild garlic leaves freeze well. Pick only the
    younger shoots from the middle of the plant,
    rinse & dry on kitchen paper and put into freezer
    bags to use all year round.
    I like the sound of your garlic soda bread, I shall make some when I next have home-made soup.
    Wild garlic leaves are also delicious chopped in
    salad, soups, casseroles & stews.
    Try it also with oven baked fish with oodles of butter.
    Must go, off to pick more leaves.
    Best wishes,

  2. Aidrienne says:

    Good morning, I was just cooking soda bread and decided I would try cooking it in a tin. Decided to google it and low and behold I came across your site. We too would have the same problem with little bitty slices if you cook it in a round shape. I started to look at your site then and came across this recipe for garlic soda bread. I thought I knew quite a lot about food but I have never heard of white garlic leaves. Could I subsitue garlic in any form or where might I get these leaves in Dublin, we might have loads of Penny’s shops but garlic leaves that must be a Moate thing(read your blog about bringing your daughter to the book lauch).
    Your site looks good, looking forward to reading more recipes.
    Enjoy the good weather.

  3. Aidrienne says:

    Oh my god. I have just read the recipe again. No wonder I never heard of white garlic leaves. I have to give in and start using the reading glasses.But alas I feel I have as much chance of finding white garlic leaves as wild garlic leaves in Dublin.

Leave a Reply