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Irish soda bread

Irish soda bread

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(92 ratings)

Takes 45-55 minutes

Easy

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

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition per slice

  • kcalories296
  • fat5g
  • saturates3g
  • carbs56g
  • sugars0g
  • fibre5g
  • protein11g
  • salt1.21g
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Ingredients

  • 250g plain white flour
  • 250g plain wholemeal flour
  • 100g porridge oats
  • 1 tsp 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

    butt-err

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

  • 500ml buttermilk

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Method

  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 (142)

brikat98's picture
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I make this every time I make homemade soup to dip in and make the soup go further. This is very filling bread, cheap and quick to make and feeds a family of five easily. I have never had success making soda bread until now. This is so moist and chewy and lovely toasted. I do use half milk and half natural yoghurt in place of the buttermilk as I usually have those ingredients to hand and it keeps the price down. Sometimes the mix turns out stickier than others, but I just slop it onto the baking sheet and bake it, and it still turns out lovely.

scasey's picture

bread turned out very well unfortunately converted to canadian measurements and not sure it was right...didn't seem quite dry enough a batter but cooked perfectly...also keeps very well.

lozenge's picture
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Tastes great and a quick and easy loaf to make but I find that it does need much more flour than the recipe states as it always comes out very wet, I haven't yet managed to get it to a state where I could even think about kneading it, its usually more a case of getting it not sloppy enough to get it in approx the right shape on the tray - always tastes good though!
My (Irish) mother always made soda bread with sour milk, today I soured some milk with lemon and used some soured cream I had left over too.
Another tip is that you need a pretty big mixing bowl!!

sophieew's picture

my Irish Mother-in-Law uses Hazelnut Yoghurt instead of buttermilk.

food4family2friends's picture

Made this and it was so good i've passed it onto several friend's.When you mix the ingreadient's it's very wet.But once baked ,divine.Will make this again and again.No waiting for it to rise.I love it just with lashing's of best butter.thank's.

specialtracy's picture

has anyone tried this with gluten free flour?

tempest's picture
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I made this soda bread for my partner (who is Irish) as a St Patrick's Day treat when we were living in the UK and he was extremely impressed. We have since moved to Ireland and I have continued using this recipe serving it to all his Irish relatives and even to my neighbour (an 80 year old Irish lady who is a great traditional cook) and all of them have said how good the recipe is and have encouraged me to cook more.

lasertwo's picture

Also followed this to the letter, and it was awful, doughy and tasteless. Not at all like Irish soda bread. Wasted expensive ingredients.

indigoorb's picture
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It was very nice. A really good recipe.

elmer63's picture
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Followed this recipe to the letter and all I got was a bowl of glue. Waste of time and expensive ingredients. Not happy!

dennyk's picture
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you can use natural or greek yoghurt in place of Buttermilk

dennyk's picture
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you can use natural or greek yoghurt in place of Buttermilk

o2rey1's picture
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so easy and quick to make! and so good! it simply disappeared in a blink

steve6337's picture

re Alice
If you are in Spain you can buy buttermilk at SuperSol markets on the Costa del Sol.

Reni's picture

Fabulous. Husband especially loved it. In future I'll make two smaller loaves out of this recipe instead of one.

o_cat_o's picture

re: alice.
Yes you can use either live yoghurt or soured milk as an alternative to butter milk. I use soured milk in mine. I use the same volume milk as buttermilk in the recipe. And i sour it 1st by heating it (in the microwave), then adding 2 tsp lemon juice, then allowing it to cool a little. this makes a kind of lumpy yoghurty mixture, but it works well instead of buttermilk.

awesomedandelion's picture
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Great soda bread, and an easy to follow recipe. I halved the recipe because I didn't have enough buttermilk - it worked out fine - I just had to add a couple more handfuls of flour.
Also, totally forgot to put in the butter(?!) but it was still really good so if you want to cut it out it works fine!

katetereza's picture
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Wonderful bread! Easy and tasty!

Dear Alice, you can substitute buttermilk with kefir, plain yoghurt or soured milk (mix 1 tablespoon of lemon juice in one liter lukewarm milk, stir well, let stand for 10 minutes and its ready.)

birdline's picture

I live in Spain and I have looked for buttermilk but cant find it. Is there an alternative??

111acy's picture
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I just found out that i was sensitive of yeast - Irish soda bread was recommended. This recipe is great, making lovely bread thats very tasty and filling. Goes great with soups and makes fantastic toast. I'd highly recommend it - 2nd batch is in the oven as i type. Thanks

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