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Irish soda bread and a short history. |ethnicspoon.com
5 from 2 votes

Irish Soda Bread Recipe - Step by Step

Here is a super easy and traditional recipe for Irish soda bread made with buttermilk.  

Course Bread
Cuisine Irish
Keyword baking bread, Saint Patrick's Day food, scratch recipe, traditional
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings: Change to adjust-> 6 servings
Calories 290 kcal



  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.

  2. In a large bowl, sift together flour, salt and baking soda. I like to mix with a fork after sifting to fully combine all the dry ingredients.

  3. Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture. Slowly add most of the buttermilk mixing thoroughly until well combined. The dough should be soft but not wet.

  4. Place the dough on a floured surface and knead lightly. Form the dough into an 8 inch circle. It will appear a bit flat but it will rise in the oven.

  5. Place on a floured or parchment lined cookie sheet.

  6. With a sharp knife, cut a 1 inch deep cross on the top of the bread.

  7. Brush the top with olive oil.

  8. Bake for 25-35 minutes until golden brown and the dough has a hollow sound when tapped on the bottom. Cool on a wire rack and serve warm.

Recipe Notes

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • How long can I store the Irish soda bread? You can keep this at room temperature for about 4-5 days. Keep it sealed in a container or zip-top bag to prevent drying.
  • Can I freeze Irish soda bread? Yes, I actually like to freeze slices or even the whole loaf. Freeze in airtight freezer bags and it stores nicely for up to 3 months.
  • How do I know when the Irish soda bread is done when baking? When you tap on the bottom it should sound hollow. Take it from the oven with mitts and I usually use a spoon because it is hot and it if sounds hollow and not a dense “thud” it is done.
  • Why did my loaf not fully bake in the middle? Be sure to flatten the loaf to about 2 inches and the diameter will be about 8 inches around. This helps the middle bake better and it will rise in the oven. Be sure your dough is not too wet to begin with. It should just come together and form a ball.
  • Can I add other flavors? Sure, some readers have added 3 tablespoons of ground flax seed or a bit of honey to the dough with good success. I would add the honey to the buttermilk before adding to the flour.
  • What if I don't  have buttermilk?  You can quickly and easily make buttermilk from whole milk or 2% milk.  Add 1 Tbsp of fresh squeezed lemon juice or distilled white vinegar to 1 cup of milk. Let this sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes to curdle.  This recipe calls for 1 and ¼ cup buttermilk so use 1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp in 1 and ¼ cups of milk.
Nutrition Facts
Irish Soda Bread Recipe - Step by Step
Amount Per Serving
Calories 290 Calories from Fat 27
% Daily Value*
Fat 3g5%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Cholesterol 5mg2%
Sodium 651mg28%
Potassium 141mg4%
Carbohydrates 55g18%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 8g16%
Vitamin A 85IU2%
Calcium 68mg7%
Iron 3.2mg18%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.