Irish soda bread

Irish soda bread

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(151 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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26th Nov, 2012
I love this bread, i vary what flours i put in too, like rye flour and more wholegrain, or more oats etc :) favourite bread.
26th Nov, 2012
I love this bread, i vary what flours i put in too, like rye flour and more wholegrain, or more oats etc :) favourite bread.
Lee Causseaux's picture
Lee Causseaux
13th Nov, 2012
This is a very easy bread to make and the feedback from friends was very positive. It is one of the best tasting soda breads we have had. Next time I will reduce the amount of salt by just a tad bit.
24th Oct, 2012
I made this using buttermilk and made it using natural yoghurt. I prefer the one made with the yoghurt plus its cheaper than buttermilk
20th Oct, 2012
i have just tried mine lovley )i made my own buttermilk with milk and lemon juice and a drop of vinger x
29th Sep, 2012
Excellent result for such an easy and quick recipe. Lovely thick crust and texture. Perfect accompaniment for soup or salad. Will be a family favourite I'm sure
26th Sep, 2012
Easy and delicious, it was my first attempt and very pleased with the result!
24th Sep, 2012
Excellent recipe and an extremely easy introduction to making soda bread.
squeaksquara's picture
21st Sep, 2012
I'm lactose intolerant so for a substitute I used margarine, and lactose free milk with half a lemon squeezed into it, then left on the side for 5 or so mins to curdle. May sound strange to some of you but it worked perfectly and tasted exactly the same. My mixture was very runny though (maybe it isn't if you use buttermilk, not sure) so baked it in a pie tin which worked grand. I made this for my boyfriends dad when I went to stay with them in Ireland. His dad was born and has lived in Ireland his whole life, and said that was the nicest Soda bread he'd ever had. Fantastic recipe. So easy too!
7th Sep, 2012
My grandmother is Irish and used to make this for us when we were kids. This recipe is very close to replicating that. I made buttermilk by adding lemon juice to warmed milk - worked fine. The mixture was VERY wet - seriously it was like porridge. I added axtra flour but I still ended up putting a big pile of gloop on the baking tray. It came out fine - a little more rustic looking than expected but at the end of the day the taste was great. Tip - don't put all of the milk in at once put 3/4 in and see how you go..........still a great recipe though will have anither go with less milk. Also I never remember seeing my grandmother put oats in the mixture but it worked just fine


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