Traditional Irish Soda Bread

Traditional Irish Soda Bread slice with butter and jam sitting on a tea towel.

This type of bread is very simple and fast to prepare. You can throw the ingredients together quickly. The less you interfere with the dough the better it will turn out. The soda bread is very versatile and that's what I love about it. It's delicious with soups/stews and it can be transformed into a heavenly dessert with some butter and/or jam. You could also do a variation on the bread to make it sweeter and add some raisins or currants.

Irish soda bread on a rustic tea towel and bluebells.

Traditional Irish Soda Bread Recipe


  • 450 g flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 400 ml buttermilk
  1. Preheat the oven to 430°F or 220°C. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  2. Sift flour, salt and soda into a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the centre and pour in the buttermilk. Using your hand or a wooden spoon, mix the buttermilk into the flour in circular motions. Only just combine the ingredients, the more the dough is mixed the tougher the bread will be. You want a shaggy dough that is not too wet and not too dry. 
  3. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Shape the dough into a circle. Using a sharp knife cut a 1" or 2.5 cm deep cross in the centre of the bread. Gently transfer to the baking tray.
  4. Bake in a preheated oven for 30 mins or until golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. Cool on a wire rack. Best eaten on the day of baking.
Irish Soda Bread before baking, cross shape cut into the dough.

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