This Traditional Irish Soda Bread recipe only requires 4 ingredients! It doesn’t use yeast, so it’s simple to make!
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??
Fun fact: this easy Irish soda bread recipe is a really good bread that is dense, moist, and delicious. So while you can serve it for St. Patrick’s Day, it’s fantastic with soups and other main courses.
Why You’ll Love This Irish Soda Bread With Buttermilk
- Only 4 simple ingredients
- Less than 1 hour to make
- No need to rise the dough
- Great for parties
A little authentic Irish Soda Bread history:
I want to give you just a few interesting facts about Irish Soda Bread with buttermilk. 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!
- Soda bread was served as an inexpensive way to put bread on the table.
- Authentic Irish soda bread should only contain 4 ingredients: flour, buttermilk, salt, and of course, baking soda.
- Buttermilk – is what gives this easy Irish soda bread recipe its flavor. I prefer to use whole buttermilk, but use what you can find. You can also make your own buttermilk by pouring 2 tablespoons of white vinegar or fresh (not bottled) lemon juice in a liquid measuring cup. Fill with whole milk or 2% to the 2-cup line. (I don’t recommend using anything less than 2% for this recipe.) Let stand 5-10 minutes before using.
- Baking soda – replaces the yeast, which makes this bread very easy to make. It reacts with the buttermilk and makes the bread rise.
- Salt – also provides flavor to the loaf of bread.
- Flour – traditionally soft white wheat flour was used in Ireland.
These 4 ingredients create an authentic Irish soda 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 and slathered with butter!
Sure! While it won’t be traditional if you add other ingredients, it’s a fun way to incorporate new flavors. Here are some ideas:
For best results, let the bread cool all the way. Then wrap and place in a sealed container. It can be kept at room temperature for up to 4 days.
Yes, cool completely then wrap in plastic wrap and then in foil or place in a freezer bag. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature overnight.
What to serve with this Traditional Irish Soda Bread Recipe:
- Serve it warm and 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.
- Its denser texter and thicker crust make it pair beautifully with soups and stews.
Traditional Irish Soda Bread
- 4 cups (580g) all-purpose flour
- 1½ teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups (470ml) cold buttermilk
- Preheat oven to 400℉. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or grease well; set aside. You can also use an 8" cake pan or oven proof skillet.
- 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.
- Form dough into an 8" round. Place on the prepared pan and with a very sharp knife, cut a ¼-½" deep X on the top. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until golden brown, and it sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. The loaf is also done when an instant read thermometer reads the center of the loaf at 195℉.
- 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.
- 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.
- Nutrition Facts: Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the information shown is just an estimate. Nutrition information is for the entire loaf.