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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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.
3rd Dec, 2011
absolutely yummy, quick & easy. perfect combination of oats for sweetness, wholemeal flour for richness & white flour for lightness. But it took a good 10 mins longer to cook than it says in the recipe.
3rd Dec, 2011
This bread is actually known as wheaten bread in Ulster, soda bread (or soda farl) is made with white flour only. The resulting bread can be fried up along with potato bread (known locally as fadge) and are the staple breads of the Ulster Fry. I haven't tried this recipe yet, so haven't rated. It is too readily and cheaply available in local shops and bakeries in Northern Ireland for me to bother baking it!
16th Nov, 2011
This recepie is the answer to my breadmaking dreams! I can't be botherd with kneeding & riseing etc so this is perfect....and the bread is delicious, I haven't brought any shop bread since I first made it! I use 1/2 milk 1/2 live yogurt instead of buttermilk (easier to pick up from the corner shop) and as I dont want to use any white flour have been useing SR wholemeal flour and Stoneground bread flour. I also add sunflower,seasame and poppy seeds and its fantastic. So very pleased I came across this recipie :)
1st Nov, 2011
My daughter and I Couldnt beleive how quick this took....took longer to measure the ingrediants then mix it and put it onto baking sheet! Its in the oven as we speak and hope that it turns out ok as am cooking for 8 on saturday and want to accompany my home made soup with the bread! Watch this be continued...


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