Irish soda bread

Irish soda bread

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(104 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
    Buttermilk pancake mixture in bowl with whisk



    There are two types of buttermilk. Traditional buttermilk is a thin, cloudy, slightly tart but…


  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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19th Mar, 2012
I made this for my birthday dinner on St Patricks day along with Beef in Guiness, both were a big hit, the bread was enough for 8 people and everyone commented on how delicious it was, all that was left was a few crumbs of it's existance!!! The addition of oats gave it a wonderful texture. The buttermilk carton was only 284 mls so I added milk with a squeeze of lemon to make up the volume, but it didn't need the full 500ml in this case
7th Mar, 2012
So easy and delicious. We love it toasted with a bowl of soup.
23rd Feb, 2012
Best soda bread recipe I've used so far. Initially thought it was going to be too wet to shape into a loaf but it came together fine once all the flour from the bottom of the bowl was drawn in
19th Feb, 2012
First attempt at making bread :) Worked very well, only thing I would do is add slightly more bicarb & salt, and i overworked it in the bowl, which gave the mushy glue mixture some people have mentioned, although its perfectly salvageable at that stage using floured hands to make it behave! Make sure you push it out quite thin as mine was probably left a touch too thick and took longer than it should have to cook, but very pleased with result.
30th Jan, 2012
16th Jan, 2012
An update to my post above, surprisingly tasted ok, had feared it was one for the bin or birds. I used milk soured with lemon so if try again would use half yoghurt or creme fraiche as suggested or try with around 350ml soured milk.
15th Jan, 2012
Some changes I incorporated for those that live in UK... No such thing as buttermilk. I use 100g plain flour and 400g self raising whole meal flour. For buttermilk, just use 3 Tablespnoons of Creme Fraiche mixed with full fat milk. Don't worry about greasing the tin before hand...invest in some silicon casings and you will not believe the hassle you save.
15th Jan, 2012
Great recipe Magaret! I've been trying a few different brown soda bread recipes and so far this one comes out top. Thanks for sharing.
14th Jan, 2012
Disastrous for me, far too wet, had to add loads more flour. Kitchen like a war zone. A seasoned bread maker I compared other recipies all of which state less buttermilk or to add it gradually. Oh well, not used to failing when I bake!
8th Jan, 2012
fantastic loaf and so easy to make, tasted lovely with grated cheese grilled on top and toasted left plain with mackrel pate spread over it. Also had it warm spread with butter and marmite yum yum. Adding the liquid to a well in the centre then incorporating the dry ingredients in a circular motion round the bowl blended it together perfectly. Also used half yougart and half milk perfect.


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