Irish Soda Bread

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Irish soda bread recipe is quick, easy, and the perfect accompaniment to any Irish meal like Irish Lamb Stew or corned beef and cabbage. It’s a delicious and slightly dense bread perfect for dipping in soups or even Beef Stew.

Irish Soda Bread can be made with white flour or as in this recipe, wheat flour as well. Raisins or currants can be added if you want a bit of sweetness! Fresh-from-the-oven bread on the table in less than an hour!

Irish Soda Bread on a white plate

Irish Soda Bread History

Irish Soda Bread originated in the 1800s, when baking soda was first introduced to the Emerald Isle. A simple recipe, soda bread was made from what cooks readily had at hand: sour milk and soft-wheat flour that was common at the time, which produced denser breads. Irish kitchens traditionally had open hearths, and soda bread was cooked over the fire on griddles or in iron pots.

The dough was, and still is, formed into a flattened round disc, and marked with a cross.

Today, cooks use buttermilk instead of sour milk, and that’s what our traditional Irish soda bread recipe calls for. However, you can use sour milk if you have it, or you can make your own sour milk, if you don’t have any buttermilk on hand. Here’s how:

  • Mix one cup of milk with one tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice
  • Stir, and then let stand for 5 minutes before using.

Irish Soda Bread sliced

How to Make Irish Soda Bread

Irish bread is a quick bread that is leavened with baking soda instead of yeast. The dough takes just a few minutes to prepare, no waiting around for hours for it to rise! The smell of this bread baking in the oven is wonderful and homey.

  1. Place dry ingredients in a bowl
  2. Add an egg and buttermilk a little at a time, stirring and kneading until smooth
  3. Shape into a circle, cut a ½ inch X in the center, and bake until golden brown.

The dough produces a dense, crusty loaf, perfect for cutting into wedges and serving with traditional Irish dinner, Chicken Stew or soup. Or, just serve it with some honey butter!

How to Freeze Irish Soda Bread

This soda bread freezes great!

  • To freeze a loaf, let the loaf cool them place in an airtight container or zippered bag and pop in the freezer with a date.
  • To freeze a slice, wrap leftover slices individually in plastic wrap and pop into a zippered bag.

When ready to enjoy, remove from the freezer and let defrost on the counter or put individual slices in the toaster for a quick and easy way to reheat them!

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Irish Soda Bread sliced
5 from 4 votes
Review Recipe

Irish Soda Bread

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 12 slices
Author Holly Nilsson
Course Bread
Cuisine American, Irish
Irish soda bread is quick, easy, and the perfect accompaniment to any meal like stew or corned beef and cabbage. 


  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 ½ cups buttermilk or as needed
  • 1 egg

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  • Preheat oven to 375°F.
  • Place dry ingredients in a bowl and whisk to combine.
  • Add egg and half of the buttermilk. Stir to combine. Continue adding buttermilk a little bit at a time while stirring just until dough holds together.
  • Form into a 9" circle with the dough and cut a cross shape ½" deep into the top.
  • Bake on a parchment lined pan 45-50 minutes or until lightly browned and hollow sounding when tapped.

Recipe Notes

Nutrition information is based on 1 slice of Irish soda bread.
This bread is best served the day it is made.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1slice, Calories: 175, Carbohydrates: 33g, Protein: 6g, Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 16mg, Sodium: 225mg, Potassium: 140mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 70IU, Calcium: 46mg, Iron: 1.7mg

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

Keyword Irish soda bread, soda bread

Serve with Lamb Stew.

Lamb Stew Irish Stew in a pot

This Irish Soda Bread Recipe has been adapted from The Cross Cookbook, an old church cookbook written with a typewriter. The submission was made by Sr. Ida Mary.

Sources of information for the history of Irish Soda Bread: Irish CentralWikipedia

Irish Soda Bread with title

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About the author


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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

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