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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11th Jan, 2017
As others have said, it was great! Mine was extremely sticky, so next time I'll put it in a greased bread tin as suggested. We had it with poached eggs and smashed avocados from the January BBC diet collection, beacause I couldn't find the seeds to make their suggested seeded soda bread. It did take 40 minutes to bake and was still a bit gummy in the middle, even in the convection oven.
26th Aug, 2016
Mine was a tad gooey as well so I spooned the mixture into a greased loaf tin and it turned out perfect. I did cook for 45 mins though. Could not recommend this recipe highly enough its so simple and turns out a perfect loaf. I have been making bread for about 10 years now and never achieved a tastier loaf than this one.
11th Jul, 2016
Simple and quick recipe. The bread comes out so moist and tasty. I would highly recommend it, I've made it 5-6 times at this stage.
8th May, 2016
Best Soda Bead recipe yet and I've tried a few!! !...Didn't use Oats though used 50g of Wheat germ and 50G of Bran instead turned out perfect love that it keeps for a few days too
3rd May, 2016
I have made this 3 times now, so quick and easy. My mix seemed quite dry, maybe because I used oat bran instead of porridge oats. The next time I'll add more liquid. Found that the loaf kept well for a few days when wrapped in cling film.
25th Apr, 2016
This worked perfectly and was really simple. I just had to add a splash of water to bring it together. I wasn't sure what it was meant to be like, but my Irish friend was a big fan and complimented the crusty exterior and soft inside. I would definitely make again :-)
23rd Mar, 2016
Made this last night to go with homemade tomato soup and it was very yummy! Excellent bread without using yeast or getting my breadmaker out! I used almond milk mixed with 100g soya yoghurt and it turned out great! If you don't have buttermilk just add a tablespoon of lemon juice to the milk!
17th Mar, 2016
If you can't get buttermilk try fat free natural vogurt and milk
17th Oct, 2015
Great bread - all the taste, without yeast or having to prove the loaf! I added cracked black peppercorns in time adding chopped walnuts and feta cheese. Love the crust on this bread too. Ideal to go with a bowl of soup, just made celery and potato - so good.
5th Oct, 2015
Very tasty and nice texture. Goes well with soup. Very easy to make.


6th Nov, 2013
This sounds delicious. Can't get buttermilk here so will try with yoghurt. Should I use sane quantity (500 ml) or a bit less for yoghurt? Thanks for any help.
28th Jul, 2013
Please convert to American ounces, love your recipes. Lars in Florida
12th Mar, 2017
Here in the States, store bought buttermilk is much thicker than regular milk. So, if I were using regular milk mixed with lemon juice or vinegar, I would use less than the buttermilk. That may help you avoid too wet a dough. Also, I'm surprised to see butter in a soda bread recipe. I've been lead to believe that Irish soda bread is made with only four ingredients: flour, salt, soda, and buttermilk or sour milk. But, every cook has the license to make his or her recipe, his or her own. :)