Brown Seeded Soda Rolls

June 3, 2012
soda rolls 6

Gathering, stirring, sifting, kneading and forming. Then baking. I am awfully fond of the idea of making my own bread.

Breaking into a wholesome, risen mound fresh from the oven is a thing of true beauty. It’s kind. It feeds your soul. It’s an honest, simple love.

My Dad is particularly fond of the baking process, his crusty ciabattas, rustic olive loaves and general doughy escapades never cease to fulfil and inspire. Although I am yet to really get into traditional bread baking, I have been devoting a considerable degree of affection towards making soda bread of late. Soda bread uses baking soda as it’s raising agent, rather than yeast. It’s a quick and rather fabulous process. And I’m a little hooked.

I may or may not presently have a freezer full of soda rolls.

It all started when I was perusing Delicious Magazine a couple of months ago. One lazy weekend afternoon, my eyes flickered to a picture of Katie Quinn Davies‘ Seeded Irish Brown Bread. I wanted to smash my face into the picture, it’s rustic divinity was that enticing. An extreme reaction? Possibly. Nevertheless, it has resulted in two months of soda bread fun in our house. Hence the freezer situation.

These brown seeded soda rolls are my favourite version to come out of my doughy escapades. They’re wholesome, nutty and earthy. They’re rugged and rustic, and a whole playground of textures – crisp, light edges, slightly moist centre, crunchy seeds…

And when you hold a toasty, wholesome bun in your hands and then tear it open, you’re filled with warmth, with comfort. Breath it in…it’s an honest, simple love.

These rolls are excellent served warm with soup. I imagine they’d also be wonderful alongside soft-boiled eggs, or maybe with a sharp cheddar. Some avocado would be lovely. My most favourite way to enjoy these rolls recently is toasted, with butter and vegemite.

Honest, simple love.

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Brown Seeded Soda Rolls
Adapted from Katie Quinn Davies‘ Seeded Irish Brown Bread, from the April 2012 edition of Delicious Magazine.

Makes 6 rolls.


1/3 cup Sunflower Seeds, plus more for scattering on top
1/3 cup Pepitas, plus more for scattering on top
1 & 3/4 cup Plain Flour, plus more for scattering
2 cups Wholemeal Flour
1 heaped tablespoon Flaxmeal
1 & 1/4 teaspoon Bicarb Soda
1 teaspoon Salt
500ml Buttermilk
1 tablespoon Light Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 generous teaspoon Poppy Seeds
1 generous teaspoon Sesame Seeds


1. Preheat the oven to 180 Degrees Celsius. Line a large baking tray with baking paper (you might need two trays, depending on how big your oven is).
2. In a large non-stick pan, toast the sunflower seeds and pepitas over low heat for ~4 minutes until golden and toasty. Allow to cool.
3. Sift the flours and bicarb soda into a large mixing bowl. Add the flaxmeal, salt and cooled, toasted seeds and stir to combine, making a well in the centre.
4. Add the buttermilk and oil to the well, then stir to create a sticky dough.
5. Turn out your dough onto a generously floured surface. Separate your dough into 6 even mounds.
6. One by one, knead your dough briefly until it comes together, adding more flour if required, and form into round rolls (avoiding any cracks across the top). Place the rolls onto the baking tray, ensuring they are spaced ~10cm apart to allow them to grow.
7. Using a sharp knife, cut across the top of the rolls (~1cm deep) in a criss-cross shape. Brush the top of the rolls with water and then scatter a small handful of sunflower seeds and pepitas, as well as the poppy and sesame seeds, over the top of the rolls.
8. Place in the oven and cook for 40 minutes (covering with foil at ~25 minutes or when perfectly golden brown). You’ll know they’re cooked when the bottom is hollow, and the centre is fluffy (although the centre will remain slightly moist even when cooked).

These rolls freeze excellently once cooked. To serve, I remove them from the freezer and defrost in the microwave for ~45 seconds (on defrost setting) or until the bottom feels warm. I then cut them open and toast in the oven or under the grill until golden brown.

soda rolls 7

Heidi xo

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  • Polly6034 June 3, 2012 at 8:24 am

    Yum yum yum!! I ate my way around Ireland in 2010, and soda bread was devoured at every single meal (with delicious Irish butter). Thanks for the recipe, can't wait to try it!

  • Iron Chef Shellie June 3, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    YUM!! I've been meaning to make bread for a while now, hoping I actually get time next long weekend, so I can enjoy it with my recently acquired French butter! x

  • Michelle Chin June 3, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    No yeast but soda. Interesting!

  • Blithely Unaware June 3, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    They look AMAZING Heidi
    I love a crunchy, super seedy bread so these would be right up my ally.



  • Kari June 3, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    Ah, delicious! I was re-motivated to make bread after watching the River Cottage episode on bread recently – I have some regular, yeasted sort, rising in the kitchen as I type 🙂

  • Heidi June 3, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    Poly – oh how awesome! Would love to go to Ireland.

    Michele – yum yum!

    Michelle – indeed!

    Blithley Unaware – thanks, lovely 🙂

    Kari – oh how wonderful, enjoy!

    Heidi xo

  • mamacino June 3, 2012 at 8:01 pm

    Heidi, I really love seeing your posts pop up in my inbox and this one is just my cup of tea…can't wait to give it a go x

  • KittyCate June 3, 2012 at 8:21 pm

    I am definitely giving these a go this week! I adore soda bread. They look fabulous xx

  • xoCATox June 4, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    Mmm, these look so tasty and hearty, and so easy that even I might be able to do! xx

  • Lisa June 4, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    Oooh bread making without rising time! Sounds great to me. And you totally answered my question of what soda bread is – I just watched an episode of Boardwalk Empire featuring it the other day.

  • Heidi June 4, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    mamacino – that's so lovely, thank you so much (hug grin!)

    Cate – thanks!! 🙂

    Cat – totally, of course!

    Lisa – hehe happy to help out 😉

    Heidi xo

  • The InTolerant Chef June 4, 2012 at 8:04 pm

    Look so good, and I love those crunchy seeds, yummo!

  • Hannah June 5, 2012 at 9:42 pm

    These look marvellous!! I have made a soda loaf a few times… but never rolls- genius 🙂 Thanks for sharing the recipe xx

  • Heidi June 6, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    InTolerant Chef – thanks! Yes, love the crunchy seeds 🙂

    Hannah – you're so welcome!

    Heidi xo

  • Hannah June 6, 2012 at 9:52 pm

    Oh yes please! As a yeast-phobic gal, soda breads (and beer breads) are the only ones that emerge from my kitchen. Love this seedy take on it, and love the action shot of you in the kitchen!

    I miss that face. xo

  • Terry Turtle June 9, 2012 at 9:46 pm

    You are quite the baker!!
    I find the lack of yeast so intriguing and can't wait to try these!
    Yay for science!

  • Heidi June 10, 2012 at 9:58 am

    Hannah – naw! beer breads!! must try.

    Terry – hehe yay for science 🙂

    Heidi xo

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