How To Make Irish Soda Bread

Learning how to make Irish soda bread is quick and easy. Traditional Irish soda bread was originally made by Irish peasants using only flour, baking soda, salt, and buttermilk. Other variations may include raisins, herbs, orange zest, whiskey, and other ingredients although these were never used in traditional Irish soda bread. Originally made by visually measuring ingredients and baking over a fire in a bastible pot, or Dutch oven, Irish soda bread can be made by anyone in a short period of time.


  • 12 ounces Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
  • 4 ounces White Bread Flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons Baking Soda
  • 2 teaspoons Table Salt
  • 12 to 16 ounces Buttermilk


  1. Combine pastry flour, bread flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix together to evenly distribute baking soda and salt.
  2. Add buttermilk a little at a time, stirring with a wooden spoon. Add only enough buttermilk to create a moist and sticky dough. The total amount of buttermilk used will vary depending on the flour’s ability to absorb the liquid.
  3. Knead dough lightly for a minute or two. Be careful not to over knead.
  4. Shape dough into a round ball. Place on a greased baking sheet and flatten the top of the dough.
  5. Cut two slits in the top of the bread with a sharp knife; one vertical and one horizontal.
  6. Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 35 to 40 minutes. The loaf will be golden brown and have a hollow sound when tapped on the bottom.
  7. Allow to cool completely and set for four to six hours before slicing.

Serving Suggestions: 

  • Slice Irish soda bread as thin as possible, spread with butter and heat just until butter is melted.
  • Serve warm with Irish stew.
  • Slice and toast in a toaster oven or over a low broil in the oven.

For additional bread making tips, ideas and recipes, see "Beard on Bread" by James Beard. 



"Beard on Bread" by James Beard

Soda Bread website.

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