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Parsnip and Thyme Bread

From River Cottage Everyday by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
Dan Stevens, baker at River Cottage, created this, inspired by Delia Smith's oatmeal-and-potato bread. It's a really lovely type of soda bread and, like all soda loaves, is great if you want to whip up some bread quickly to go with soup. It has a light sconelike texture, and when it's warm from the oven, it's difficult not to devour the whole thing in minutes, spread thickly with butter.
Course Side Dish
Servings 1 small loaf


  • 1 tablespoon canola or sunflower oil
  • 1 large onion sliced
  • 1 cup & 2 tablespoons self-rising flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan or hard goat cheese, or sharp Cheddar
  • 1 cup parsnip grated
  • black pepper freshly ground
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons whole milk


  • Preheat Oven to 350ยบ.
  • Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the onion, and cook gently for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft and lightly colored. Remove from the heat and cool slightly.
  • In a large bowl, mix together the flour, salt, thyme, cheese, grated parsnip, and some pepper. Add the onion, followed by the egg and extra milk if needed. Don't overwork the dough; just bring it together with a little light kneading. Shape into a round and place on an oiled baking sheet.
  • Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until the loaf is golden and makes a hollow sound when tapped on the bottom.
  • Let cool for a few minutes on a wire rack, then slice and serve while still warm.


For another recipe featuring parsnips, click here!
Keyword bread, parsnips, Thyme