Mark’s Stout & Chocolate Soda Bread


Series 11

To enjoy Mark’s lovely, dark rich bread at its best, eat it within a day or so of baking. Making your own chilli butter is optional, of course, but a sure way to impress your guests.

Makes: 1 large loaf
Difficulty: Easy
Hands-On Time: 30 mins
Baking Time: 30-40 mins
  • Ingredients
  • Method
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Step 1
Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/400°F/Gas 6.

Step 2
Place the butter, honey and sugar into a small pan and place it over a low heat, stirring regularly until the sugar has dissolved. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the stout. Leave to cool.

Step 3
Place the flours, cocoa powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a large mixing bowl and stir in the chocolate chunks. Stir in the stout mixture and the buttermilk and keep stirring until it starts to come together to a soft, slightly sticky dough. Then, place the dough on a lightly floured worktop and shape it into a round loaf, taking care not to overwork it.

Step 4
Place the loaf on a baking sheet and, using a sharp knife, cut a deep cross in the top. Bake for 30–40 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean and the bread sounds hollow when tapped on the base. Allow to cool on a wire rack.

Step 5
While the bread is baking, make the butter. Place the cream in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whisk on a medium speed until the cream curdles, the butter solidifies on the whisk, and the buttermilk separates from the fat.

Step 6
Place the butter inside the muslin-lined sieve over a bowl. Gather up the muslin and squeeze gently to remove the excess buttermilk, then place the butter in a separate bowl. Mix through the salt and the chilli and serve in a small bowl alongside the soda bread.