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.
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).
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.
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Traditional Irish Soda Bread- this Irish Soda Bread recipe only requires 4 ingredients! It doesn't use yeast so it's simple to make!
- 4 cups (580g) all-purpose flour
- 1½ teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups (470ml) cold buttermilk
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.
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 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.
- 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.
71 thoughts on “Traditional Irish Soda Bread”
I have used this recipe many times since discovering it in 2020. It’s my absolute favorite and so easy to make!
Thank you so much!! I am so glad you like the bread and thanks for sharing!
I tried this recipe and the bread was not cooked inside. Even after putting the bread in for another 10 minutes, it still wasn’t fully cooked inside. Very disappointed in the results from this recipe.
Sorry the recipe didn’t turn out as you had hoped!
Can we use whole meal or whole wheat flour instead of White flour for healthy option.
I haven’t tried using whole wheat flour with this recipe so I can’t say how it will turn out.
I’ve used half white and half whole meal which was good
Thank you so much for sharing!!
I made my buttermilk with cider vinegar … it worked well… thank you for the recipe 😊
I’m glad you liked it! Thanks!
Did this today didn’t taste like soda bread but I didn’t have lemon so made butter milk with cream of tartar but must say it’s was lovely bread in its own right will definitely be my go to bread
I just love this bread!!! Found the recipe here on the web saw how easy it is to make and jimminy crickets make it all the time now!
Thank you so much!! I am so glad you like the bread!!
Made three, one as the recipe and 2 with raisins. So happy with how they turned out 😊.
YAY!! I am so glad you liked the bread and thank you for sharing!!
I’ve just about finished cooking mine and buggar !! I was side tracked and omitted to cut the x in top will this make a difference ,😭
The main thing for the “X” is to help with making sure the center of the loaf cooks completely. Hope you enjoyed the bread!
I never leave comments or reviews on recipes, however this soda bread is FANTASTIC! Where I live requires me to use about an extra half cup of flour, but that is not a recipe issue, it is just an elevation issue. lol. I have made this bread several times, and it is always a hit. I love to serve it with a Dublin Coddle (potato and sausage stew). Thank you for the great recipe 😋
Thank you so much!! I am so glad you like the bread!
Just doing a trial run for St.Patrick’s Day
Never made it before
Thanks! Let me know how you like it!
My mother used the same recipe but flattened into triangles the thickness of scones. Then she
pan fried for breakfast. Soda bread.
My mother used the same recipe but flattened into triangles the thickness of scones. Then she pan fried for breakfast.
That sounds delicious!! Thanks for sharing!!