Traditional Irish soda bread

Try this traditional soda bread recipe!

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Traditional Irish soda bread is deliciously quick and easy to make. It is perfect next to a bowl of stew or toasted for breakfast. See the section above for 5 flavor options.


Units Scale
  • 3 cups of flour (400g)
  • 1 2/3 cups buttermilk (400 g, see below for alternatives)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • Additional flavors (see section above for suggestions)


  1. Combine the buttermilk and flour in a large bowl, and leave it to hydrate for 5 minutes.
  2. Sprinkle the dough with salt and soda then mix well. You don’t want any clumps of baking soda! 
  3. Stir in any additional flavors, then scrape the dough onto a greased baking sheet or cooking stone. Irish soda bread is typically baked in a free-form ball.
  4. Slice a cross into the top of the loaf about 3/4-inch deep. If you want to add a topping, brush the top of the loaf with beaten egg, milk, or water then sprinkle on the topping.
  5. Bake at 400F for 30-40 min (until a toothpick comes out clean).


  • Though buttermilk is traditional, feel free to use other types of soured dairy milk. Milk kefir and plain yogurt (no thickeners) both work equally well. Avoid Greek yogurt (strained yogurt) or yogurt that contains thickeners. You need liquid for this recipe.
  • You can use any type of flour you like, from rye to all-purpose white. I typically use traditional whole wheat flour.
  • For a delicious gluten-free loaf, here is my recipe for gluten-free soda bread.

Keywords: rosemary cheese, lemon pepper, super seedy, cinnamon raisin, soaked, prefermented, brown bread, Saint Patrick's Day,