Irish soda bread

Irish soda bread

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(99 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, questions and tips

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Keith Towers
13th Mar, 2014
I have made several loaves of soda bread now, using different recipes. I make my own yeast activated bread and that took a while to sort out a recipe and flour brand that works well for me. I have not tried this particular soda bread recipe, but I have just tried one from River Cottage website which I made with just 500g of white bread flour, 2 tsp of bicarbonate of soda, 1 teaspoon of fine sea salt, and 400ml of soured milk by adding 2 1/2 tbs of pure lemon juice to 400 mil of milk, whisking in and standing for 20 min. The dough was very sloppy with this recipe but cooked very nicely and I and my wife will be trying it tonight for tea. Although soda bread is as simple as throwing the ingredients together in a bowl, understanding the method of cooking and handling the dough is paramount for success. Enjoy!
19th Nov, 2013
Made this for the first time yesterday, used milk soured with a bit of lemon juice and was absolutely delicious. Its a lot sloppier than the dough for my old recipe, but comes out much nicer. Will definitely be making again.
22nd Oct, 2013
this is wheaten bread not soda
31st Aug, 2013
An excellent recipe, tried it many times! Lovely with carrot and coriander soup! I also add a a dessertspoon of honey and a dessertspoon of black treacle for extra sweetness and flavor.
Bigspottedcat's picture
27th Jun, 2013
OK - made this over 10 times now and have a few pointers for beginners: 1. Use a sieve for the flour and Bicarb 2. Baking Soda does not work as well as Bicarb 3. Throw the buttermilk all in one go - don't mix through in stages. Be QUICK 4. Mix rapidly with a knife and treat the dough gently 5. Lay it out thinly Mine takes 45 min.
16th Sep, 2013
Baking soda is the same thing as Bicarb. Bicarb is short for Bicarbonate of Soda. Did you mean baking powder?
16th May, 2013
I took a chance on the milk soured with lemon juice and wasn't confident that the sloppiest, roughest dough I have ever produced by any method, would do what it was supposed to in the oven - but it was absolutely wonderful. Looked a bit like a hedgehog, but toasted with some smoked cheese and onion relish it tasted heavenly!
13th May, 2013
Made a few times now, always turns out well. This recipe produces very traditional tasting soda bread. Definitely recommended if you want a taste of Ireland, the shop bought stuff in the UK isn't nearly as good.
14th Apr, 2013
I have made this recipe a few times and it always tastes greats, the only problem I have is when I put the buttermilk and stir it doesn't all seem to mix together has anyone else had this problem?
20th Mar, 2013
This was the first time that I have attempted bread of any description, and it was perfect. I substituted plain yoghurt for the buttermilk and it was so tasty and moist. About to make my second batch :)


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