Irish Soda Bread Recipe (2024)

Irish Soda Bread is the easiest bread you’ll make – no proofing or kneading required and the dough comes together in 5 minutes. Soda bread has a soft and tender crumb with a Biscuit-like texture.

Irish Soda Bread Recipe (1)

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We love freshly baked bread, from Banana Bread to Homemade Focaccia. If you are a fan of easy bread recipes, this Irish Soda Bread is a must-try!

You’ll Love this Soda Bread!

I fell in love with Soda Bread the first time I tried it. Its lightly sweet crumb reminded me of our Paska Easter Bread and Hot Cross Buns, but it’s amazing how fast and easy it was to make a traditional Soda Bread.

What is Irish Soda Bread?

This Irish-American Soda Bread is traditionally baked for St. Patrick’s Day. It is a quick bread that uses Baking Soda (a.k.a. Sodium Bicarbonate) as the leavening to make it rise. Unlike traditional yeast bread, there is no proofing or rising time. Once the dough comes together, you score the top and bake right away.

Irish Soda Bread Recipe (2)

Ingredients

We love adding raisins for the holidays, but the raisins are optional. If you want to make it without buttermilk, then kefir works just as well to activate the baking soda.

  • Flour – all-purpose flour works best
  • Sugar – 1/4 cup makes it a lightly sweet bread
  • Salt – every good bread needs a fair amount
  • Baking soda – leavening which makes the bread rise
  • Butter – gives the bread a scone-like texture (use cold, unsalted)
  • Buttermilk – activates the soda (use cold, low-fat)
  • Egg – for a finer, richer crumb
  • Raisins – optional and can be substituted for dried cranberries
Irish Soda Bread Recipe (3)


Tips for the Best Soda Bread

  • Do not over-mix – as with scones, the dough really just has to come together before baking.
  • Sticky dough – the dough will feel sticky. Dust your work surface and hands with just enough flour to handle the dough.
  • Cold ingredients – there’s no reason to bring ingredients to room temperature. Keep buttermilk, egg, and butter chilled.
  • Generously grease the pan – buttering your cast-iron skillet before baking allows the bread to rise without sticking to the pan.
  • Cool on a rack – Once out of the oven, transfer the soda bread to a rack to cool so it doesn’t steam and soften on the bottom.
Irish Soda Bread Recipe (4)

How to Make Soda Bread

You’ll be amazed how fast and easy it is to form a loaf of this Irish-American Soda Bread.

  • Prep – Preheat oven to 375. Grease a 10″ cast-iron pan with butter.
  • Whisk dry ingredients – in a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda.
  • Add butter and raisins – cut butter into dice then work it into the flour mixture with clean dry fingertips until crumbs form. Stir in raisins.
  • Buttermilk – In a large measuring cup, beat together buttermilk and 1 egg and pour into dry ingredients. Stir with a wooden spoon until moistened and the dough starts to come together.
  • Form the loaf – transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface, dust hands with flour, and form dough into a round loaf. If too sticky to handle, dust with flour.
  • Bake – transfer dough to the buttered pan and score the top with a deep “X”. Bake at 375˚F for 50-55 minutes.
Irish Soda Bread Recipe (5)

How to know when Soda Bread is done baking? We bake for 50-55 minutes. When you tap the loaf it should sound hollow inside.

Common Questions:

Can I leave out the raisins?

You can omit the raisins, or even substitute them for dried cranberries or other bits of dried fruit like chopped apricots.

Can I make soda bread without buttermilk?

The buttermilk activates the baking soda, making the bread rise. You can substitute the buttermilk with a low fat plain Kefir.

What does Irish Soda Bread taste like?

It tastes similar to scones or biscuits but is very lightly sweet.

How to serve Soda Bread?

We love to serve soda bread is delicious served as a side with Irish butter and honey, or jam. It’s a lightly sweet bread so it pairs well with coffee or tea.

Why do you score the top with an “X”?

Scoring the top gives it extra surface area to brown and crisp.

Why is my soda bread tough?

Over-mixing or over-kneading the dough can make it tough. The less you handle it, the softer the bread will be.

Can I freeze soda bread?

Soda bread freezes really well. If you freeze it the day it’s baked (be sure it’s cooled to room temperature first), it will taste great thawed and toasted.

Irish Soda Bread Recipe (6)

This Irish Soda Bread recipe is sure to become a holiday favorite for you. It’s so easy and you’ll impress everyone.

More St Patrick’s Day Recipes

If you love this Soda Bread, then you won’t want to miss these St. Patrick’s Day-inspired recipes.

  • Green Smoothie Bowl – perfect for a St. Patty’s breakfast
  • Zeppole – a special treat loved by all
  • Spinach Artichoke Dip – your new favorite dip
  • Guacamole Stuffed Deviled Eggs – you’ll love the green
  • Roasted Brussels Sprouts – crispy with bacon
  • Broccoli Apple Salad – with creamy dressing

Irish Soda Bread Recipe

4.98 from 351 votes

Author: Natasha Kravchuk

Irish Soda Bread Recipe (8)

This Irish-American Soda Bread takes just 5 minutes to make the dough with no kneading and no proofing needed. It has a soft and tender crumb with a texture that is similar to biscuits.

SavePinReviewPrint

Prep Time: 10 minutes mins

Cook Time: 55 minutes mins

Total Time: 1 hour hr 5 minutes mins

Ingredients

Servings: 12 slices (1 loaf)

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus 1/4 cup more for dusting
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 6 Tbsp cold unsalted butter, plus 1/2 Tbsp to grease pan
  • 1 3/4 cups cold lowfat buttermilk or kefir
  • 1 large egg, cold
  • 1 cup raisins or dried cranberries, optional

Instructions

  • Preheat oven at 375˚F. Generously grease a 10” cast-iron skillet with 1/2 Tbsp butter.

  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda. Cut butter into small pieces and use your fingers to work the butter into the flour until crumbs form stir in the raisins, breaking up any clumps of raisins. Make a well in the center.

  • In a large measuring cup, whisk together the buttermilk and egg then add this mixture into the flour mixture. Use a wooden spoon and mix just until lightly moistened and dough barely starts to come together.

  • Transfer to a floured surface and use floured hands to shape the dough just until it forms into a round loaf. It should be shaggy. If it’s too sticky to handle, dust lightly with flour. Do not over-mix or bread will be tough.

  • Transfer to the buttered pan, use a knife to score the top with a large and deep “X”. Bake in the center of your preheated oven at 375 for 50-55min. When you tap on the bread, it should sound hollow inside. Transfer bread to a wire rack to cool. Enjoy within 2 days of making it and refrigerate leftovers up to a week.

Nutrition Per Serving

259kcal Calories45g Carbs5g Protein6g Fat4g Saturated Fat1g Trans Fat29mg Cholesterol295mg Sodium151mg Potassium2g Fiber4g Sugar195IU Vitamin A1mg Vitamin C14mg Calcium2mg Iron

  • Full Nutrition Label
  • Nutrition Disclosure

Nutrition Facts

Irish Soda Bread Recipe

Amount per Serving

Calories

259

% Daily Value*

Fat

6

g

9

%

Saturated Fat

4

g

25

%

Trans Fat

1

g

Sodium

295

mg

13

%

Potassium

151

mg

4

%

Carbohydrates

45

g

15

%

Fiber

2

g

8

%

Sugar

4

g

4

%

Protein

5

g

10

%

Vitamin A

195

IU

4

%

Vitamin C

1

mg

1

%

Calcium

14

mg

1

%

Iron

2

mg

11

%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Course: Bread

Cuisine: American, Irish

Keyword: irish soda bread, soda bread recipe

Skill Level: Easy

Cost to Make: $

Calories: 259

Natasha Kravchuk

Irish Soda Bread Recipe (9)

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Natasha, the blogger behind Natasha's Kitchen (since 2009). My husband and I run this blog together and share only our best, family approved and tested recipes with YOU. Thanks for stopping by! We are so happy you're here.

Read more posts by Natasha

Irish Soda Bread Recipe (2024)

FAQs

What makes Irish soda bread different? ›

Irish soda bread is prepared without yeast. Traditionally it has just four ingredients: flour, baking soda, salt, and buttermilk. The baking soda and buttermilk react to cause the dough to rise. In Ireland, soda bread is often made from stone-ground whole-wheat flour, though white flour versions are available.

What is traditionally served with Irish soda bread? ›

The thick and hearty nature of Irish soda bread helps it pair very well with meaty stews (especially Irish stew). You can use it to soak up the juices as you eat or as a vehicle for the meat and vegetables. Traditionally, Irish soda bread is served with a slow-simmered beef and barley stew.

Why is Irish soda bread so dry? ›

It's important to remember no to overmix your ingredients. Irish Soda Bread is a dense bread, similar to a scone, but can easily become dry if overmixed. Quickly add the wet ingredients to a well you've made in the dry ingredients, and mix with your hands or a dough hook until it just comes together.

Is soda bread healthier than normal bread? ›

Soda bread is quick to prepare and is a low-fat, yeast-free option. It may help alleviate symptoms of bloating and discomfort. If you're new to baking or short on time, our seeded soda bread is an ideal loaf to bake at home.

Why does Irish soda bread not need yeast? ›

Unlike yeast breads, soda bread relies on the reaction between the bicarbonate of soda and the acid in the buttermilk to give it it's rise, as well as it's familiar flavour. In terms of texture, it is quite a dense bread and slightly chewy.

Should you toast Irish soda bread? ›

Although soda bread is ideal for serving at room temperature, it is better to serve it warm. The thick and cakey texture of the bread and warm temperature brings out its hearty flavors. If you can't have it fresh from the over at least have it toasted.

How many days is Irish soda bread good for? ›

Tightly wrap your leftover bread and place it in an airtight container. There's no need to refrigerate. As for how long soda bread lasts: Irish soda bread tends to dry out faster than other breads. The bread will be good for 3-4 days or up to three months if frozen.

What's the best way to eat Irish soda bread? ›

The slices are delicious simply spread with butter, jam, or marmalade. This bread can be toasted, too. Soda bread can be paired with any meal of the day. You can even bake it without the raisins to make a loaf to serve with savory dishes like soup, meat dishes, or to use for sandwiches.

What is another name for Irish soda bread? ›

Spotted Dog/ Railway Cake— Different names are used in different parts of Ireland, but this recipe has the addition of raisins or currents to the dough, usually along with butter and sugar. Seedy Bread—Traditional Irish soda bread with the addition of caraway seeds and a little sugar.

Should Irish soda bread be served warm or cold? ›

Soda bread dries out quickly so it really is only good for a day or two. It is best eaten freshly baked and warm or toasted.

Why is my soda bread gummy? ›

What would make soda bread chewy or gummy? Too much liquid added, or it hasn't been baked enough. It should go on the top shelf of the oven and it should be baked for at least 30-35 minutes.

Is Irish soda bread the same as sourdough bread? ›

The main difference between sourdough bread and soda bread is in its leavening agent – sourdough bread rises due to the gasses released from yeast and bacteria fermentation, while soda bread rises from the gasses produced during the chemical interaction between baking soda and acids in the dough.

Which is healthier sourdough or soda bread? ›

Both types of bread use flour and contain refined carbohydrates. Sourdough bread would be considered healthier in the fact that it is a fermented food with lower gluten levels, making it easier to digest.

Is soda bread good for your gut? ›

This soda bread recipe – which uses bicarbonate of soda rather than yeast – allows you to whip up delicious home-made bread quickly, and give your gut health a massive boost in the process. “Soda bread lends itself beautifully to healthy loaves that are full of nutrition,” says nutritionist Reece Carter.

What can go wrong with soda bread? ›

If your bread tastes soapy, salty, or bitter or if the crust is too dark: You might have added too much baking soda or baking powder or used self-rising flour. If your bread's texture is dry: You might have added too much baking soda, too little liquid or not baked it at high enough temperature.

What is special about soda bread? ›

Soda bread is a variety of quick bread made in many cuisines in which sodium bicarbonate (otherwise known as "baking soda", or in Ireland, "bread soda") is used as a leavening agent instead of yeast.

What ingredient did the rise to the Irish soda bread come from? ›

Irish soda bread was first created in the 1830s, when baking soda was first introduced to the UK. At the time, Ireland was facing financial hardship and lack of resources, so they turned to soda bread out of neccessity, it was inexpensive and required few ingredients.

What are the characteristics of Irish soda bread? ›

Irish soda bread is a crumbly, tangy, scone-like quick bread made with flour, baking soda, salt and buttermilk. The acidity of buttermilk interacts with the alkaline properties of baking soda to create the bread's leavening without the use of yeast.

What is Irish soda bread supposed to taste like? ›

Irish soda bread is a dense and tender quick bread with a subtle tangy buttermilk flavor.

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