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Traditional Irish Soda Bread is a dense and moist bread that requires no rising time and just four simple ingredients to make. 

Slice of irsish soda bread with butter on it sitting by the loaf of bread.

This Irish Soda Bread is a delicious recipe that goes back many many years. Using only 4 ingredients it comes together quickly and serves a crowd. A great quick recipe when you have minimal ingredients and time.

Is Irish Soda Bread really Irish?

While that question has been asked for many years, the truthful answer is no. Irish Soda Bread or Soda Bread is a quick bread using baking soda as a leavening agent. The chemical reaction between the baking soda and buttermilk in this recipe produces carbon dioxide which causes it to rise.

The Irish like other many European countries back in the early 1800’s didn’t produce much hard wheat to make a good yeast bread, and adopted the soda bread as their own and hence the name Irish Soda Bread.

How do you eat Irish Soda Bread?

While there are many ways to eat this tasty bread the most typical way to enjoy it is with a spread of butter. While adding some jam or marmalade to it also produces a fun flavorful breakfast type feel.

You can also serve it along side soups for dipping or instead of slicing into chunks you can slice thinly and make them into sandwiches, which this bread would serve well because it’s sturdy.

How do you store Irish Soda Bread?

While this particular bread can dry out quickly, it is best to store it tightly wrapped or in an air safe container to preserve it longer. You can store it wrapped for about 3-4 days or freeze it for up to 2-3 months.

So if you have minimal ingredients on hand at home but have a hankering for bread, this Irish Soda Bread recipe is a quick, easy option and is 100% delicious!

Irish Soda Bread on a cutting board.

If you like this recipe you may also be interested in these other delicious bread recipes:

Irish Soda Bread on a cutting board.
Traditional Irish Soda Bread is a dense and moist bread that requires no rising time and just four simple ingredients to make. 
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Ingredients
  • 3 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon coarse sea salt or 2 1/4 tsp table salt
  • 1 1/2 cup buttermilk
Instructions
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  • In large bowl whisk together your flour, baking soda and salt. Add in your buttermilk and stir until it just comes together.
  • Turn out onto lightly floured surface and knead until it forms a smooth ball. Dust the outside with flour and place on an un-greased baking sheet. Use a sharp knife to slash a 1 inch deep cross on top of the loaf. 
  • Bake in oven for 35 minutes or until golden brown. 
Notes

Nutrition

Serving: 1loaf | Calories: 1815kcal | Carbohydrates: 351g | Protein: 56g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 39mg | Sodium: 8457mg | Potassium: 954mg | Fiber: 11g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 595IU | Calcium: 480mg | Iron: 20.3mg
Course: Bread, Side Dish
Cuisine: Irish
Keyword: Irish Soda Bread

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LIz

5 stars
That was so exciting, thank you!!!
First loaf of bread we’ve ever made, and it was perfect soda bread, just like we remembered.
Since we can’t get yeast anywhere, this is perfect.
We aren’t big bread eaters, but we made it this morning, and it’s over 1/2 gone by 1:45pm, and there are only 2 of us in the house.
Not likely to go back to buying bread after this, it’s far superior.
Good solid loaf, very filling, just can’t stop eating it!

Dave Hayden

5 stars
Excellent recipe. Made a loaf this evening after work, while it was baking I shook a mason jar of whipping cream until it was butter. Had a nice cold homebrew, bread and butter with salmonberry jelly for supper.

Eric

I am not an experienced baker at all, and during the coronavirus social distancing decided to try making your soda bread, since I had all the ingredients on hand (and no yeast!) I followed your instructions exactly and the bread came out great. I’m planning to make this again, and again. I’ll make it even still whenever things get back to normal, if they ever do. I did use your lemon juice and milk trick instead of buttermilk, since I didn’t have that. I used 2% milk. One thing I’ll say for the other people trying this: the bread rose… Read more »

Jyoti Anandjiwala

Thank you very much for such a easy recipe for a novice like me who could succeed in making fresh bread in lockdown situation.

Dawnj

5 stars
I made this Irish Soda bread to go with our stew tonight for dinner. I have made three different recipes, over the years, for my Irish husband—he said each were okay. However after eating a slice of this bread he did a jig and said it tasted very close to what his Mum and Grandmum would make him. I swear there was a twinkle in his eye. Thank you for posting this recipe! Made me very happy to bake something so close to his childhood memories of home (for my sweetie pie).

B McEe

The receipe I use is probably 100 years old, if not older. It involves using a cast iron skillet greased with butter, lining the bottom with a piece of waxed paper, butter, caraway seed, currants, some sugar (I use brown sugar), baking soda and baking powder, much less salt, and dotting the top with butter before baking. Also, the oven time is easily 1 hour and judged by acheiving an even deep golden brown over the top.

Allene

2 1/4 teaspoons of salt seems like a lot! Did anyone adjust this?

Jenn

4 stars
I just made it as listed and it was reeeeeally salty. I used course sea salt but a tbsp was way too much. I’ll make it again but with less salt.

LCH

Should have! Next time I’ll cut it in half.

Ali

Yeah, I went with 1 tea spoon of table salt.

Moon

5 stars
Great, traditional recipe!
I recommend baking in a preheated cast iron pan and if desired, adding raisins.

Barbara

4 stars
Quick and easy… great texture and tooth feel…
But what is with the salt? I used 1 tablespoon coarse kosher salt. The crust is very salty. Can even see the salt granules on the crust!
Plan to try again with less salt, and use granulated table salt.

Vicky

5 stars
Great recipe. I tried it with raisins and a little molasses and substituted quick oatmeal for some of the flour on another batch. Both excellent.

Beginner Baker

5 stars
This was an easy and delicious recipe. It felt like I was channeling my grandmother. Thank you

Mary Rafferty

4 stars
Too much salt! I use 1 tsp. Have been making it for years.

Jamie Stilp

Made this with the exception of only adding a tsp. of the sea salt. This turned out beautiful and delicious. Thank you so much for this recipe, definitely will be using often to accompany many dinners.

Tahera

Perfect never-fail recipe, adjusted well to a combo of whole wheat and oatmeal flour! Only ingredient to adjust is salt! Love the taste of this bread!

joanne

4 stars
Where is the butter or shortening? nutmeg? no flavorings at all??

Charlene

Nothing more than the 4 ingredients. The Irish started using this recipe during the potato famine. Ingredients needed for yeast bread were not available or were cost prohibitive. Give the basic recipe a try then try adding dried fruit or flavouring.

Lesley

This is traditional Irish soda bread just as my mum made for us as kids

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