Traditional Irish Soda Bread

Traditional Irish Soda Bread- this Irish Soda Bread recipe only requires 4 ingredients! It doesn’t use yeast so it’s simple to make!

Round loaf of Traditional Irish Soda Bread wrapped in a towel.

How many of you have ever had a loaf of Traditional Irish Soda Bread???  How many of you only eat it around St. Patrick’s Day??  I don’t know why but I always forget about this delicious loaf of bread until this time of year.  I need to remember to make it more often because it is SO EASY TO MAKE!!!

A few other really easy to make bread recipes I have are: Beer Bread (so good!!), Buttermilk Cornbread (my favorite!),  and Garlic Cheddar Biscuits (we make these all the time).

Slice of traditional Irish soda bread with butter.

A little Irish Soda Bread history:

I want to give you just a few interesting facts about Irish Soda Bread.  Don’t worry I won’t bore you it’s only a few!

  • The cross that is slashed into the dough before baking was made to ward off devils and protect the house.  It also helps the center of the bread bake all the way through, so it’s very important not to skip that step!
  • During the mid 1800s the Irish were making so much soda bread that baking soda almost doubled in price!
  • The Irish didn’t actually invent soda bread, but the Native American’s did before the Europeans came to America!

About Irish Soda Bread ingredients:

  • There are only 4 ingredients in Traditional Irish Soda Bread: flour, buttermilk, baking soda, and salt.
  • Buttermilk is what gives this loaf of bread it’s flavor.  I prefer to use whole buttermilk but use what you can find.  You can also make your own buttermilk by pouring 2 tablespoons white vinegar or fresh (not bottled) lemon juice in a liquid measuring cup.  Fill with whole milk or 2%.  (I don’t recommend using anything less than 2% for this recipe.)  Let stand 5-10 minutes before using.
  • The baking soda replaces the yeast which makes this bread very easy to make.  It reacts with the buttermilk and makes the bread rise.
  • These 4 ingredients create a loaf of bread that I feel tastes similar to buttermilk biscuits or scones.  The loaf is dense, slightly sour from the buttermilk, and has a hard crust.  It’s perfect to pair with soups and stews but I also like it warm slathered with butter!

Top down view of a round loaf of Traditional Irish Soda Bread.

What to serve with Traditional Irish Soda Bread:

  • Serve it warm, fresh from the oven with pats of butter.
  • Use it for breakfast as toast with jam or put a poached or fried egg on top.
  • It’s denser texter and thicker crust makes it pair beautifully with soups and stews.

So if you are looking to start making bread but afraid of yeast breads this would be a perfect recipe to start with!

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5 from 2 votes
Round loaf of Traditional Irish Soda Bread wrapped in a towel.
Traditional Irish Soda Bread
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
35 mins
Total Time
50 mins
 

Traditional Irish Soda Bread- this Irish Soda Bread recipe only requires 4 ingredients! It doesn't use yeast so it's simple to make!

Course: Bread
Servings: 1 loaf (6-8 servings)
Author: Countryside Cravings
Ingredients
  • 4 cups (580g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups (470ml) cold buttermilk
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (218 degrees C).  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or grease well; set aside.  You can also use an 8" cake pan or oven proof skillet.

  2. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.  Stir in the buttermilk just until combined and it starts to become too stiff to stir.  Transfer to work surface and with floured hands lightly knead the dough 5-10 times or until all the flour is moistened and the dough comes together.  

  3. Form dough into an 8" round.  Place on prepared pan and with a very sharp knife cut a 1/4" deep X on the top.  Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown and it sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.  

Recipe Notes
  1. This bread is best served shortly after baking but can be stored at room temperature tightly wrapped for 2-3 days.  Can also be frozen for 2-3 months. 
  2. Buttermilk is vital to the flavor and texture in this recipe and cannot be replaced with plain milk.  However, you can make your own buttermilk by pouring 2 tablespoons white vinegar or fresh (not bottled) lemon juice in a liquid measuring cup.  Fill with whole milk or 2%.  (I don't recommend using anything less than 2% for this recipe.)  Let stand 5-10 minutes before using.  

 

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