Olive Soda Bread and St Barnabas

This is not your traditional olive bread. It has no yeast and I added olives to give it some salty briny flavor.

Today is the feast day of St. Barnabas. Although he technically was not a apostle he played a very important role in bringing Christians together. You see, Barnabas was St. Paul’s helper and introduced him to the other apostles. Paul went with him on his first missionary journey and was returning to Jerusalem. This was the first time Barnabas was in Jerusalem and he didn’t stay long because he had a second missionary journey in Cyprus.

It is fitting to have this olive bread on his feast day because one of his symbols is the olive branch.

On another note, these are trying times and often a trip to the grocery store becomes this big drawn out process. I have been trying to use up a few things in my pantry.  I wanted a olive recipe and had no yeast in the house. I love soda bread and while in quarantine did not have raisins in my pantry.  I did have olives and this is how this recipe was made.

It is really good with the wonderful  olives studded through out. It is a different way to enjoy soda bread. I love to slather it with butter. You should eat this the same day I am told. I didn’t have any leftovers to worry about when I made this.

Olive Soda Bread


4 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon sugar
2/3 cup buttermilk
1 egg
1/2 cup chopped olives


Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
Stir all your dry ingredients in a large bowl. Make a well in the middle and add your milk and eggs. Mix until flour is combined and the dough is sticky. Add the olives
Turn out on  a well floured surface and kneed until soft.
Pat it into a round and put it in your floured baking tray.
(I used my trusty cast iron skillet.)
Slash a cross in the top to bless your loaf.
Some say to slash to top to let the fairies our or the devil.
Fairies are good, we will go with that.
Bake for 15 minutes and then reduce the heat to 375 and bake another 30 minutes.
It should be done when you tap the top of the loaf and it sounds hollow.
This bread should be eaten the same day it is made.

Peace be with you,