Irish soda bread

Irish soda bread

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(126 ratings)

Takes 45-55 minutes


Makes 1 loaf

Get the taste of Ireland with this fresh, no-fuss soda bread

Nutrition and extra info

  • for up to 1 month

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 a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

  • 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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23rd Mar, 2016
I only used Half teaspoon of salt after your comment and it was fine!
7th Mar, 2015
Made this following the recipe exactly. Very good and delicious. Looks like on picture. Baked it for 40 minutes on a pizza stone on 180 (I have an oven thermometer), the last five minutes bottom up.
7th Feb, 2015
First time making this bread it was easy to make, it tasted great and lasted a week without drying out or going stale. I was able to get buttermilk from Tesco's and Asda, in asda look under the polish food section, i found it there or ask in store for buttermilk. I am unable to eat bread because of acid re-flux, but I was o.k with this bread I will be making this bread from now on to eat.
7th Feb, 2015
n well with soup
7th Feb, 2015
I made this bread the other day, it was easy to make and I was able to get all the ingredients. The bread lasted for a whole week without drying out or going stale. There are a lot of breads I cannot eat, owing to having stomach problems, acid re-flux I was able to eat this bread and I was o.k.
Mexiflor's picture
5th Nov, 2014
Second attempt better at first, probably not the recipe but my inexperience and having to substitute ingredients. I can't get buttermilk here (Mexican Caribbean) so I use natural yoghurt mixed with some milk, to combine all the floor I add a little more than 500 ml. I would like to try with soured milk, so I'm guessing lime juice would work as well as lemons, as I've never seen a lemon here in five years! Also I have no scales, just a measuring jug, so use cups and a guesstimate technique. But I do find I need to bake for about 40 mins. Lovely warm out of the oven with butter and a bowl of homemade soup!
14th May, 2015
Hello, I too lived in several places in Mexico. Never could find buttermilk. But using regular milk with 1 Tblsp vinegar - let it stand for about 15 min - should help you out. If you live near Cancun you should be able to get there a scale at one of the larger supermarkets or costco or sam´s club. It works much better than cups for measurement. Would love to be on the beach - though it is probably very hot right now.
8th Apr, 2014
This is a really good recipe and so easy - I never imagined you could create a loaf of bread in, literally, minutes. After making it a few times I prefer it without the oats - I just substitute them with the same weight of flour. It's also really nice with some chopped walnuts thrown in. I'm going to try it with other additions soon - I'm thinking pine nuts and olives, and maybe some feta or other cheese. A sweet version with dried fruit and spices might be nice too... Oh, it also freezes really well. Really useful recipe!
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.


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