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The Best Irish Soda Bread

The Best Irish Soda Bread


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This Irish soda bread recipe uses just 4 pantry staples for a warm, crusty loaf that’s perfect for slathering with butter and jam, or soaking up your favorite soup. No kneading required!

If you want homemade bread but without a lot of prep, this Irish soda bread is a great option along with one-hour rolls, peasant bread, and garlic knots!

Irish Soda Bread Recipe

Have you ever had Irish Soda Bread? I first tried it a few years ago and have been a fan ever since. It’s super easy to make and has great flavor. You start off by combining all the dry ingredients and cutting in a few tablespoons of butter. Then stir in the buttermilk until a dough forms. From there, you dump it out onto a lightly floured surface and form it into a round loaf, (no kneading required!) bake it in a cast iron skillet, brush with melted butter and that’s it. See? Super easy.

It totally reminds me of biscuits in loaf form! And even though soda bread has way less butter than biscuits, it still has a great buttery flavor. Plus it has an amazing texture- the crust is crisp and the center is soft and tender. Serve it plain, with butter or smothered in jam. Give it a try, I know you’ll love it!

4 Ingredients to Make It

I don’t know about you… but the fact that Irish soda bread only requires 4 simple ingredients and it doesn’t need any kneading or proofing makes this recipe a winner. Here’s everything you’ll need:

  • All-Purpose Flour: The base of the soda bread, providing structure and body.
  • Baking Soda: There’s no soda bread without the baking soda! It’s the leavening agent, reacting with the buttermilk to create bubbles that make the bread rise.
  • Salt: Enhances the flavor of the bread.
  • Buttermilk: Adds a slight tang and moisture, and also helps activate the baking soda.
  • Softened Butter (for serving): The perfect addition to this tasty soda bread!
  • Jam (for serving): For some sweet flavor. Try this homemade strawberry jam recipe if you’re up for the challenge!

How to Make Irish Soda Bread

When it comes to homemade bread, this recipe is as easy as it gets. Even without yeast, proofing, and kneading, Irish soda bread is perfect- it’s crisp on the outside and perfectly tender on the inside.

  1. Preheat Oven: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Prepare Dough: Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Create a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and pour the buttermilk into the center.
  3. Shape: Mix the dough together using your hands, or a wooden spoon until a shaggy dough forms. Dump the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and bring it together just until it forms a round.
  4. Bake: Place the loaf on a parchment lined baking sheet. With a knife, score the top of the loaf in an x. Place it in the oven and bake for 35-45 minutes or until the crust is a golden brown.
  5. Cool and Serve: Take the soda bread loaf out of the oven and allow it to cool at least 10 minutes before cutting into it. Serve with butter and jam or alongside my Guinness Beef Stew.

Tips and Variations

  • Buttermilk Substitute: If you don’t have buttermilk, mix 2 cups milk, whole milk is best, with 2 tablespoons vinegar or lemon juice, mix the liquids together and allow the milk to curdle before using it.
  • Don’t Overwork: Do not work this soda bread dough much at all, you just want to mix it until it comes together and then form it into a round that stays together on its own. If you work the dough too much it will be tough in texture.
  • Add Raisins: Some people like to add raisins to their Irish soda bread. If this is a preference of yours you can fold in ¾ cup raisins after most of the liquid has been incorporated into the dry ingredients, taking care not to overwork the dough.

Storing Leftovers

Store at room temperature in a bag or airtight container once the loaf is cooled, for up to 4 days.

Can I Freeze Soda Bread?

Yes you can! Wrap the cooled baked loaf tightly in plastic wrap or foil for up to a month of freezer storage. Thaw on the counter, then warm it in the oven on low heat for a refresh.

You can also freeze the unbaked soda bread dough after shaping it. Wrap it tightly and freeze for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to bake, simply thaw the dough in the refrigerator overnight and then pop it straight into the oven.

More Easy Homemade Bread Recipes


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  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit.

  • Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Create a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and pour the buttermilk into the center.

  • Mix the dough together using your hands, or a wooden spoon until a shaggy dough forms. Dump the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and bring it together just until it forms a round.

  • Place the loaf on a parchment lined baking sheet. With a knife, score the top of the loaf in an x. Place it in the oven and bake for 35-45 minutes or until the crust is a golden brown.

  • Take the loaf out of the oven and allow it to cool at least 10 minutes before cutting into it. Serve with butter and jam or alongside my Guinness Beef Stew.

Originally posted March 3, 2017
Updated on March 8, 2024

Calories: 2118kcalCarbohydrates: 405gProtein: 67gFat: 21gSaturated Fat: 10gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 53mgSodium: 5028mgPotassium: 1183mgFiber: 14gSugar: 25gVitamin A: 792IUCalcium: 628mgIron: 23mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.


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