Irish soda bread

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)

food4family2friends's picture

This recipe is devine.I make it every week and double it and freeze it.I also add carraway seeds sunflower seeds.This week I added apricots and pine nut's.Great with cheese.Then I did walnut's and raisin's with cinnamon.

tibulinnu7's picture

Very good!

yvonnefield's picture

I found this very wet, has anybody else? Should I cut down on the amount of buttermilk? Otherwise it is very tasty.

hayfaa's picture

It's juse perfect! So easy to make and tastes so good! This is the first bread I've ever made in my life but it turned out so nicely! Very pleased! :-)

jpswalsh's picture

instead of buttermilk - mix half milk and half natural yoghurt, it's just the same! going to try this on the weekend. an irish colleague was telling tales of her mum's soda bread - and a soda bread stew! hoping that a recipe for that pops up somewhere...

scasey's picture

would love a version using Canadian measurements; I winged it and it was wonderful but one never does it the same way twice..maybe our flour is different

mwoodsher's picture

Made bread for the first time at the weekend. This is sooooooo easy! It tastes delicious warm with butter or dipped in soup.

rosswynne's picture

great soda bread. made a few and everybody i gave it too loved and asked for more. what more can i say. especially good with soup

brikat98's picture

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

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

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

It was very nice. A really good recipe.

elmer63's picture

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

you can use natural or greek yoghurt in place of Buttermilk

dennyk's picture

you can use natural or greek yoghurt in place of Buttermilk


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