Thyme, cheddar and walnut soda bread with fig jam

Thyme, cheddar and walnut soda bread with fig jam


This week’s bake off was such a good one! Although I do think Paul should have been given Star Baker for his amazing bread lion sculpture, but I do understand why Ian got it instead. It was easy deciding what to bake for this week’s Great Blogger’s Bake Off – I didn’t have the time or patience to attempt a bread sculpture (or enough people to feed it to!), and baguettes looked a bit boring, so soda bread it was! I really liked the idea of soda bread being something you could whip up in the minimum time – indeed my loaf took 45 minutes from start to finish – yet still look like an impressive loaf to serve.

This thyme, cheddar and walnut soda bread is so easy to make, you literally chuck all the ingredients into one bowl and mix them up into a dough. The thyme is supposed to be subtle, but to just set off the flavour of the cheese with a herby edge. The fig jam is, of course, optional, but we have a prolific fig tree in the garden which produces more fruit than we can eat, so this jam is perfect for using them up.



For the thyme, cheddar and walnut soda bread

  • 200g wholemeal flour
  • 300g plain flour
  • 1tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp fine salt
  • 400ml buttermilk, or 300ml natural yogurt mixed with 2 tsp lemon juice and 100ml milk
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • 100g mature cheddar, chopped into small chunks
  • 75g walnuts, roughly chopped

For the fig jam:

  • 200g fresh, ripe figs
  • 50g granulated sugar
  • 50g honey

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees

  1. Tip the flour, bicarb, salt and thyme into a large bowl and stir with a wooden spoon until evenly mixed.
  2. Then tip in the buttermilk (or buttermilk equivalent!) and stir until a dough forms. Add the cheddar and walnuts and mix in, then form the dough into a ball with your hands.
  3. Transfer the loaf onto a baking tray lined with baking paper, pop it into the oven and cook for 30-35 minutes until golden brown on top and hollow if tapped on the base.
  4. While the loaf is cooking, make the fig jam. First chop the figs up into small chunks, then put them into a saucepan with the sugar and honey .
  5. Bring the mixture to the boil, then simmer for 5-10 minutes until the figs have broken down and are bubbling stickily.
  6. When the jam is done, pour it into a sterilised jar and leave to cool.
  7. When the bread has cooled, slice and serve with the jam.


This post is also linked up with the lovely great bloggers bake off run by Jenny at

And hosted this week by



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