Irish Soda Bread

Irish Soda Bread

This bread is made in homes all over Ireland. It uses bicarbonate of soda as a raising agent and the buttermilk gives it a subtle tang.


  • 450g plain flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 300-350ml buttermilk


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 230°C.
  2. Sift the flour, salt and bicarbonate of soda into a mixing bowl. Mix well with a fork to ensure the salt and bread soda are well incorporated into the flour.
  3. Add 300ml of buttermilk and mix through the flour. Add another 50ml if necessary. You want a soft dough, but nothing too wet and sticky.
  4. With floured hands, turn the dough out onto a floured board. Knead the dough into a round loaf but don’t overwork it.
  5. Place the dough on a buttered and floured baking sheet. Cut a cross in the top of the dough. According to legend, this allows the fairies to escape.  (No, I don’t believe it either…)
  6. Place the baking sheet in the centre of the oven for 15 minutes then turn the oven down to 200°C and cook for a further 25 minutes.
  7. Remove the bread from the oven and wrap in a tea towel and leave to cool slightly on a wire rack before cutting. Slice and serve coated with salty butter.

If you want to try another type of traditional Irish bread, try my Griddle Bread recipe. It’s much quicker to make and very moreish.


6 Responses to “Irish Soda Bread”

  1. 1 denis tangney February 13, 2011 at 2:39 pm

    I mke soda bread to agood standard but often the crust is too hard. How can I rectify this. denis tangney

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