Irish soda bread is a delicious hearty quick bread and the great served with any cozy meal.
This easy bread recipe is made with a combination of wheat flour and white flour and doesn’t require a lot of kneading or rise time. If you’d like, a handful of raisins or currants can be added.
Origins & Ingredients
Irish Soda Bread originated in the 1800s when baking soda was first introduced to Ireland. This bread was made from what was often on hand: sour milk, wheat flour, and soda. Traditionally had open hearths, and soda bread was cooked over the fire on griddles or in iron pots. The dough is formed into a flattened round loaf and with a cross cut into it. You can find more history here.
Today, we use buttermilk instead of sour milk. However, you can make your own sour milk, if you don’t have any buttermilk on hand. Combine one cup of milk with one tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice. Stir, and then let stand for 5 minutes before using.
How to Make Irish Soda Bread
Irish bread is a quick bread that is leavened (made to rise) with baking soda instead. 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.
- Dry ingredients: Combine dry ingredients in a bowl per recipe below.
- Wet ingredients: Stir in the egg and buttermilk a little at a time. Knead the bread just until smooth.
- Shape & Bake: 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 Irish Lamb Stew or corned beef and cabbage. It’s delicious and the texture is perfect for dipping in soups or even Beef Stew.
Or, just serve it with some honey butter!
Storage & Leftovers
This will keep well on the counter for a day or two. If you want to keep it longer, it’s perfect to slice and freeze.
- 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 thaw on the counter.
More Quick Bread Recipes
- Cheese Bread (Quick Bread)
- Easy Drop Biscuits
- 30 Minute Dinner Rolls
- Easy Beer Bread
- Homemade Biscuits
- Homemade Cornbread Recipe
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Irish Soda Bread
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ cups buttermilk or as needed
- 1 egg
- 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.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)
Serve with Lamb Stew.
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.