Easy Irish Soda Bread

Irish Soda Bread is a traditional Irish staple known for its simplicity and heartiness. Unlike yeast breads, soda bread is leavened with baking soda, which reacts with the acidity of buttermilk to create a tender crumb. This bread has a rustic charm and is often enjoyed with butter, jams, or alongside hearty stews. The Easy Irish Soda Bread recipe is perfect for both beginners and experienced bakers, offering a quick and satisfying baking experience. Let’s dive into the details of making this beloved bread, rich in history and flavor.


For the Bread:

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar (optional)
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, cold and cubed
  • 1 3/4 cups buttermilk

Optional Add-ins:

  • 1 cup raisins or currants
  • 1 tablespoon caraway seeds


Prepare the Dough:

  1. Preheat the Oven:
    Preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C). Grease a baking sheet or line it with parchment paper.
  2. Mix Dry Ingredients:
    In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and sugar (if using). This ensures that the baking soda is evenly distributed throughout the flour, which is crucial for the bread’s rise.
  3. Cut in the Butter:
    Add the cold, cubed butter to the dry ingredients. Using a pastry cutter or your fingertips, cut the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs. This step creates layers in the dough, contributing to the bread’s tender texture.
  4. Incorporate Buttermilk:
    Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the buttermilk. Stir gently with a wooden spoon until the dough begins to come together. If you’re adding raisins or caraway seeds, fold them in at this stage.

Knead and Shape the Dough:

  1. Knead Lightly:
    Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead it gently for about 1-2 minutes, just until it forms a cohesive ball. Avoid over-kneading, as this can make the bread tough.
  2. Shape the Dough:
    Shape the dough into a round loaf, roughly 8 inches in diameter. Place the loaf on the prepared baking sheet.

Score and Bake:

  1. Score the Dough:
    Using a sharp knife, score a deep “X” on the top of the loaf. This traditional step helps the bread cook evenly and allows it to expand properly in the oven.
  2. Bake the Bread:
    Bake in the preheated oven for 35-45 minutes, or until the bread is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. The internal temperature should reach about 200°F (93°C).
  3. Cool the Bread:
    Transfer the baked bread to a wire rack to cool completely. Cooling is important as it allows the interior to set, making it easier to slice.

Tips for Perfect Irish Soda Bread:

  • Buttermilk Substitute: If you don’t have buttermilk, you can make a substitute by mixing 1 3/4 cups of milk with 1 3/4 tablespoons of white vinegar or lemon juice. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes before using.
  • Variations: For a sweeter bread, increase the sugar to 1/4 cup and add 1 cup of dried fruit, such as raisins or cranberries. For a savory twist, try adding 1 cup of shredded cheese and 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh herbs.
  • Serving Suggestions: Irish Soda Bread is best served warm with butter, honey, or jam. It’s also a fantastic accompaniment to soups and stews.


Easy Irish Soda Bread is a delightful recipe that captures the essence of traditional Irish baking. Its straightforward method and minimal ingredients make it accessible to all bakers, while its rich, hearty flavor makes it a favorite in any home. This bread is a testament to the beauty of simplicity, offering a delicious and comforting experience with every slice. Whether you’re enjoying it fresh out of the oven or toasted the next day, Irish Soda Bread is a versatile and satisfying treat. Embrace the heritage and warmth of this classic bread, and enjoy the process of baking something truly special.

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