Irish soda bread

Irish soda bread

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(96 ratings)

Takes 45-55 minutes


Makes 1 loaf
Get the taste of Ireland with this fresh, no-fuss soda bread

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per slice

  • kcal296
  • fat5g
  • saturates3g
  • carbs56g
  • sugars0g
  • fibre5g
  • protein11g
  • salt1.21g
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  • 250g plain white flour
  • 250g plain wholemeal flour
  • 100g porridge oats
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
    Bicarbonate of soda

    Bicarbonate of soda

    Bicarbonate of soda, or baking soda, is an alkali which is used to raise soda breads and full-…

  • 1 tsp salt
  • 25g butter, cut in pieces



    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

  • 500ml buttermilk


  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6/fan 180C and dust a baking sheet with flour. Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl, then rub in the butter. Pour in the buttermilk and mix it in quickly with a table knife, then bring the dough together very lightly with your fingertips (handle it very, very gently). Now shape it into a flat, round loaf measuring 20cm/8in in diameter.

  2. Put the loaf on the baking sheet and score a deep cross in the top. (Traditionally, this lets the fairies out, but it also helps the bread to cook through.) Bake for 30-35 minutes until the bottom of the loaf sounds hollow when tapped. If it isn’t ready after this time, turn it upside down on the baking sheet and bake for a few minutes more.

  3. Transfer to a wire rack, cover with a clean tea towel (this keeps the crust nice and soft) and leave to cool. To serve, break into quarters, then break or cut each quarter in half to make 8 wedges or slices – or simply slice across. Eat very fresh.

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Comments (150)

siobhanh's picture

Lovely recipe, will definitely be making again. Just added a bit of chile powder to give it a bit more of a kick, but thats my personal taste.

martianpoolwoman's picture

This is as good as you find in Ireland and is lovely warm with butter or with leek and potato soup.(BUt the cross was meant as sign of the cross ; not concerning the wee folk) lovely recipe !

oliviaknf's picture

Cmcewan you are very silly! I tried this and it turned out lovely and my family extremely enjoyed it!!! I am extremely happy! :) x

littleroto's picture

just made this for the first time. I used natural yogurt rather than buttermilk and no butter as I'm on a diet, but I used abit of olive oil instead. it worked fine and turned out very good for a first attempt, it's quick as well!

lizscarboro's picture

Fantastic recipe. Looks, smells and tastes exactly like proper Irish soda bread. I panicked when I had a bowl of glue, but kept stirring with my knife and suddenly it all came together into a proper dough.

rmellor18's picture

Really tasty, lovely toasted with honey! Recipe is very simple, I halved everything and baked for 30 mins, it worked out great.

susie007's picture

This is so easy and tastes great. Lighter than shop bought.
I covered the bread with a tea towel but it still formed a crust. Didn't matter though as it was so good!

numnahmoon's picture

Recipe produced a perfect soda bread. Yumm!

louiseprice789's picture

Absolutely yummy recipe and so so easy to make! I have been eating my (irish born) mother-in-law's version for years and never felt it was anywhere near as good as the bought stuff (it comes out like a doorstop - so tough and strongly tasting of soda..), which was such a shame as homemade fare is usually so much better. Well I've found the ultimate recipe now (ie this one!), which I cooked for her on sunday. She did say she enjoyed it but I noticed she didn't ask for the recipe (although did grudgingly ask for a few details of it). Father-in-law loudly said it was the best bread he'd eaten. Tee hee.

thabo83's picture

Simple recipe for a great "brings me back home" loaf! I am cautious about the consistency of the mix so try to keep it sloppy enough to settle yet elastic enough to pick up with one hand... turns out perfectly! I do suggest a bit longer in the oven.

Porkybaby: Tin is fine, just coat the tin with the plain flour then sprinkle more on top of the mix in the tin.

4 stars as I never give 5!

boscad's picture

Re - porkybaby - bake in a loaf tin?
Haven't tried this but I would suggest using the given oven setting for 20mins, then dropping by about 20degC for another 20 to 25 mins. If you fail to leave it longer (than the original recipe suggests) it may not cook out the flour all the way through.
Just a thought....

porkybaby's picture

Can I bake this bread in a loaf tin?

helenrb's picture

I made this last night for the first time. I'm in Canada and so wasn't used to the measurements -- I am not sure what I did wrong, but I only ended up adding half the buttermilk because it was already so liquidy. It still turned out reasonably well, but not great. I'll have to get a scale next time and make sure everything is exact.

samstone6's picture

Tried it ate it loved it as did all the family. Will make again and again. Don't know how cmcewan got a bowl of glue but I would try it again cos it's great.

charlie_kitten's picture

Forgot to rate - oops!

charlie_kitten's picture

My OH is Irish and was impressed at how authentic this tasted. Baked it on a pizza stone then served it on the same stone which kept it warm a bit longer. Tasted great with salted butter and marmalade.

my_dunh's picture

This soda bread is so easy to make, and so tasty!! I made two buns using only 1/4 of the ingredients and baked them for 25 minutes. Yum!

neilphillipson's picture

I could not believe how easy this was to make, and fantanstic results. A definite hit in my house. I will be making this again, and again and again.......Mmmmmmmm

lynseym's picture

This recipe is a lifesaver if you can't eat wheat and think the gluten free stuff in the shops is worse than eating soil ! I make this with any plain wheat/gluten free flour and it turns out fabulous. I tried Hugh Furry Whatshisname's recipe but was nowhere near as nice as this.

ruthcunio's picture

used this recipe today - my first attempt at soda bread. Very easy to make and tasted gorgeous
Highly recommended!


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