Irish Soda Bread- traditional recipe


I’ve made a lot of Irish soda bread.  My youngest son loves it and I got the recipe from

a friend of mine of Irish heritage- so I thought I was making a traditional recipe.

Turns out- no.  Irish soda bread does not contain sugar, or currants or any kind of dried

fruit whatsoever.

So I’m sharing a recipe I got from a couple of websites on Irish traditional cooking.

A couple of the websites were pretty adamant about what WASN’T in soda bread that

they neglected to give the recipe.  And a few more wrote about putting together flour,salt,

soda, and buttermilk without any instructions.  So I pieced together the information and used

my own experience and made a marvelous loaf whilst in Chincoteague.  It is like a biscuit-y tea

loaf- delicious with butter and orange marmalade- wonderful with a slice of corned beef!



4 cups plain flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

14 oz (1 cup 3/4 ) buttermilk


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.  Grease and flour round cake pan.

Whisk or sift together the dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Add butter milk and stir to a sticky dough.

Dump onto a heavily floured surface and knead lightly- just for a minute or so- you don’t want to

release too much of the leavening gasses in overkneading.

Shape into a large round and cut a cross into the top.  Cover pan with another the same size- to keep

the bread moist and steam as well as bake.

Bake for 30 minutes and then remove top pan and bake for another 15 minutes.

The crust is a lovely thick brown when done and will sound hollow when thumped.

Cool with a damp tea towel on to top to keep it moist.

035It smells heavenly!

038Try to wait till it cools before cutting.


Although it is very tempting – still try to wait – or the knife will crush the crumb.


Add braised cabbage, skillet fried potatoes, and corned beef and have a wonderful

St. Patrick’s Day feast!

5 thoughts on “Irish Soda Bread- traditional recipe

  1. Your pictures make me so hungry! Everything looks so delicious, makes me wish I had gone with you. I very happy you are home.

  2. Heidi, I trust your bread wisdom implicitly, so I’m going to try soda bread again, using your recipe. I can’t say I’ve ever had any luck with it before – it’s always ended up a bit like stodgy cake!

    • It is a bit stodgy if you are expecting a cakey texture. I like it toasted- and then I consider it like an American biscuit – somewhere between a cracker and a tea bread. Great for soaking up gravies- good with butter and jam-
      I really like it.

  3. I’m not a big soda bread eater but as a quick bread it is so useful when you have no time to wait for a yeasted or a sourdough to make and you need bread on the table. Yours looks beautifully simple and the crust just amazing 🙂

    • I don’t usually like quick breads either, Joanna.
      This just worked very well- and I was thrilled with the aroma and the beauty of the crust. All in all- a very nice tea bread.

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