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Easy Irish Soda Bread

PREP TIME 5 mins | COOK TIME 45 mins | TOTAL TIME 50 mins | SERVES 1

This is adapted from a recipe I originally developed for Cottage Life.

Oh the bread in Ireland. It’s at every meal, it’s always fresh and loaded with whole wheat or seeds or currants or all three. And there is always excellent, local butter–and lots of it. People may rave about Guinness or scones or lamb stew, but my favourite Irish food will always be soda bread.

I didn’t grow up with this, but when I tasted soda bread as an adult it was always far too soda-tasting to me. Kinda like eating a mouthful of baking soda toothpaste without the minty taste. I worked on getting the soda in this recipe as low as possible–without losing its lifting effect, of course!

The buttermilk is key (as ever). Don’t be fooled by the milk+lemon juice substitute (read this for more proof!).

Soda bread is meant to be eaten warm, on the day you make it. It doesn’t last very well, although leftovers toast up nicely the next day.

Easy Irish Soda Bread


  • 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 ¾ cups whole-wheat flour

  • 1 tsp baking soda

  • ¾ tsp salt

  • 1 ¾ cups buttermilk, well-shaken before measuring


  1. Preheat the oven to 425F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  2. Stir the two flours, baking soda and salt together in a large bowl. Add the buttermilk and stir until well-combined. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured countertop and knead it 4 or 5 times so it shapes into a ball about 6-inches wide. Transfer it to the prepared baking sheet, then cut a deep cross into the top. This lets the fairies out, trust me, I'm Irish.

  3. Bake 15 min then reduce the oven to 375F and bake another 30 min. Let cool on a rack for 15 minutes then slice it carefully and serve warm with gawwwwmmm butter omg invite me over please!

  4. CURRANT & SPICE BREAD: Add ¾ cup currants, 2 tablespoons sugar, ½ teaspoon cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon allspice to the flour mixture. Bake as usual.

TIP: I've tried this with 100% whole-wheat flour and it's a bit too dense. Good toasted, but a bit of a chore to chew through when fresh.

Click below for a printable version of this recipe.

Easy Irish Soda Bread_Claire Tansey
Download PDF • 114KB

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