NATIVE FOOD MONTH: Warndu Mai's saltbush soda bread and Davidson’s plum jam

NATIVE FOOD MONTH: Warndu Mai's saltbush soda bread and Davidson’s plum jam


serves 6–8

For the bread:

340 g wholemeal self-raising flour 

340 g plain flour

3 tsp ground saltbush

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda 

Small pinch of salt

580 ml buttermilk

2/3 cup muntries

Drizzle of olive oil

2 tbsp saltbush seeds, for topping

2 sprigs of sea rosemary, finely chopped 

Extra muntries, for garnish and to serve

For the Jam:

1 kg Davidson’s ooray or Illawarra plums

1 kg white sugar 

1 lemon, zest and juice 

2 tsp ground cinnamon myrtle or 4 leaves whole and crushed slightly


For the bread:

Preheat the oven to 200C.

Put the flours, saltbush, bicarbonate of soda and pinch of salt into a large mixing bowl and stir. Make a well in the middle and pour in the buttermilk and muntries. Mix quickly with a fork to form a soft dough. Add more buttermilk if it’s too dry and more flour if too sticky.

Turn it out on to a floured surface and knead briefly (don’t over-knead or it will be hard as a rock). Shape it into a 30 cm loaf, flatten slightly and place on to a baking tray lined with baking paper. Cut a cross in the top of the loaf, lightly brush on some oil and sprinkle the saltbush seeds and sea rosemary. Bake for about 45 minutes, or until the loaf sounds hollow when you knock the bottom.

For the jam:

Wash the plums, halve them and remove the seeds. Weigh the fruit and make sure you have exactly the same amount of sugar as fruit.

Place the plums and sugar in a large, heavy-based saucepan. Add the lemon zest, juice and cinnamon myrtle. Heat on low, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Bring to a light rolling boil and allow to simmer for 1 hour, or until the mixture has slightly thickened.

Test the mixture by putting a small saucer in the freezer for 1 minute. Remove from the freezer and put 1 teaspoon of jam on to the saucer. Leave for 1 minute, run your finger through the centre of the jam and if it wrinkles it’s set.

Once set, pour the jam into 4 x 250 ml sterilised jars and seal. Store in a cool, dark place for up to 2 years.

Soda Bread

Recipe and image supplied by Rebecca Sullivan and Damien Coulthard of Warndu.