Irish Soda Bread Recipe from Ireland: Easy & so authentic! -Baking a Moment (2024)

Searching for the best Irish soda bread recipe? Look no further! This authentic recipe comes straight from Ireland. So easy to make with just 4 ingredients.

Irish Soda Bread Recipe from Ireland: Easy & so authentic! -Baking a Moment (1)

I’m so excited March is finally here! It means I can finally start sharing all my best St. Patrick’s Day recipes!

Today’s is super-special, because as you may know, I just returned from a fabulous trip to Ireland, where I learned all about Irish baking, straight from the experts! I’m so thrilled to be sharing this authentic Irish soda bread recipe with you!

If you are looking for some really fun St. Patty’s Day foods, be sure to check out my Shamrock Shake Macarons, Pot of Gold Cupcakes, and Rainbow Fruity Pebble Cake.

But today we are going more for that authentic Irish vibe, and this recipe couldn’t be more so.

I learned it at the Ballymaloe Cookery School in Cork, Ireland. I have always wanted to go there, so it was truly a “pinch me” kind of moment! It really felt like a dream come true to learn real Irish baking from none other than Darina Allen herself. Such an incredible privilege!

She taught us that soda bread is so easy to make from just 4 simple ingredients, and it comes together in just a few minutes. If you’re craving homemade bread but you don’t have time for a big fuss, this is the recipe for you!

It bakes up crusty on the outside, with a soft, fluffy interior. The flavor is quite basic, but perfectly balanced.

You can jazz it up with interesting add-ins if you’d like (more on that later), but as it is it makes a perfect loaf that you’ll love to eat (with real Irish butter!) for breakfast or as an appetizer or side dish to your meal.

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Irish soda bread is an easy quick bread recipe that’s made with just 4 ingredients.

It’s much faster than most other bread recipes, because it does not contain any yeast. Soda bread is leavened with just baking soda, so you don’t have to wait a long time for it to rise.

You can whip up this homemade bread in less than an hour and have warm, freshly baked bread on the dinner table for your family in no time at all.


To make this easy recipe, start by whisking flour, baking soda, and salt together in a big bowl.

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Next, you’re going to add in buttermilk. The exact amount can vary based on the humidity in your kitchen on any given day, so you’ll want to start with a smaller amount and work your way up as needed.

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I really think there isn’t any good substitute for real buttermilk in this recipe. If you search around, you’ll see that it’s possible to sour your own milk by adding lemon juice or white vinegar to regular milk, but in my experience that type of substitute only works well when there are lots of other ingredients (like in chocolate cake, for example). With a recipe as simple as this, where there are only 4 ingredients, I think the buttermilk takes on a lot more importance.

It’s definitely worth seeking out real buttermilk if you want to make this, and if you can get your hands on whole milk buttermilk, by all means do it. It’s thicker and richer tasting, and I can find it easily in the dairy section of my regular local supermarket.

Once you’ve added about 1 1/4 cups of buttermilk, begin mixing the dough with your clean hands. This is the way we were taught by the chefs at Ballymaloe! They taught us to make a “claw” with our fingers and mix the dough gently by hand.

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You can get a better idea of what this looks like by viewing the video in the recipe card below.

If your dough seems really dry, add more buttermilk, a little at a time, until it gathers into a big, sticky ball.

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Clean your hands and transfer the dough to a baking sheet.

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Then dust your hands with flour and pat the dough into a circle that’s about 1 1/2-inches thick.

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Flour the blade of your knife, and score the bread in a criss-cross pattern. This is traditional for Irish soda bread! It helps the loaf to rise evenly in the oven.

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Last but not least, use the tip of your knife to puncture a slit in each of the 4 quarters. This is so important! My teacher at Ballymaloe explained that you have to do this in order to let the faeries out!

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Bake the bread at a very high temperature initially (450 degrees F; this is not a typo!), then turn the oven down and finish baking at a slightly lower temp. This will really help the bread to rise nice and fluffy!

You’ll know your soda bread is done baking when it’s golden and crusty, and it makes a hollow sound when you tap it with the tips of your fingers.


There is truly nothing better than warm bread, fresh from the oven! Feel free to cut into this bread straight away.

I like it just as-is, smeared with imported Irish butter (it truly is worlds better!), and maybe a little homemade jam.

But it can also be baked with a few handfuls of just about any kind of mix-in you can imagine! Here are a few ideas:

  • Raisins, dried currants, or sultanas (aka: golden raisins)
  • Shredded cheese (a sharp Irish cheddar would be especially nice)
  • Herbs, such as chives, rosemary, or thyme
  • Roasted garlic or caramelized onions
  • Nuts and/or seeds, such as pistachios, walnuts, caraway seeds, or sunflower seeds

Really you could get as creative as you’d like!

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There’s lots of specific info in the recipe card below, but I can tell you that it is not gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, or vegan.

However it is vegetarian and egg-free, and it does not have any yeast.

And just to clear up any possible confusion, this is not the same as sourdough bread.


While this bread can certainly be made a few days ahead, you probably won’t need to do that since it’s so quick to make.

But if you’re really pinched for time, it will keep for about 4 to 5 days at room temperature. Just be sure to wrap it tightly so it doesn’t become stale or dried out.

Irish soda bread can be re-warmed in a low oven (170 degrees F). Wrap it in foil first, and heat it gently until it’s warmed through.


Wrap this loaf up tightly in plastic wrap, then slip it into a freezer bag. It will last in the freezer for several months. Just thaw it at room temperature, and re-warm it as noted above.

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If you’d like to see more of what I experienced on my recent trip to Ireland, check out the “Ireland” highlight on my Instagram!

And be sure to enter Williams Sonoma’s sweepstakes to win an Ireland trip of your own! Here’s the link: FREE Trip to Ireland.

Also if you happen to be in the Philadelphia area, I’d love to see you at the Authentic Ireland Cooking Class I’m teaching this weekend! Here’s where to register: Irish Baking Class.

And here are few more of my favorite authentic Irish recipes:

  • Irish Apple Cake
  • Hot Buttered Jamie
  • Chocolate Stout Mini-Bundt Cakes
  • Irish Apple Amber

As an amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Irish Soda Bread Recipe from Ireland: Easy & so authentic! -Baking a Moment (13)

4.80 stars (5 ratings)

Irish Soda Bread

Servings: 16

Prep Time: 10 minutes mins

Cook Time: 45 minutes mins

Total Time: 55 minutes mins

Searching for the best Irish soda bread recipe? Look no further! This authentic recipe comes straight from Ireland. So easy to make with just 4 ingredients.

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  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

  • Place the flour, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl and whisk to combine.

  • Add about 1 1/4 cups of the buttermilk to the flour mixture, working it into a shaggy dough with clean hands.

  • If the dough seems too dry, add more buttermilk until a sticky dough is formed.

  • Knead the dough a few times (being careful not to overwork it), then transfer it to a baking sheet and pat it to a thickness of about 1 1/2-inches.

  • Score the dough in a criss-cross pattern with a floured knife, and puncture each of the 4 quarters with the tip of the knife.

  • Bake the soda bread for 15 minutes at 450 degrees, then turn the oven temperature down to 400 degrees and bake for another 25 minutes.

  • Turn the bread upside down and continue to bake at 400 degrees for another 5 minutes.

  • Tap the loaf with your fingertips- it should make a hollow sound and be golden brown and crusty.


*There is really no good substitute for buttermilk in Irish soda bread. Try to use whole milk buttermilk if you can find it.

Calories: 128kcal, Carbohydrates: 25g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 2mg, Sodium: 131mg, Potassium: 64mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 37IU, Calcium: 31mg, Iron: 1mg

Cuisine: Irish

Course: Appetizer, Breakfast, Brunch, Side Dish, Snack

Tried this recipe?Mention @bakingamoment on Instagram or tag #bakingamoment.

Irish Soda Bread Recipe from Ireland: Easy & so authentic! -Baking a Moment (2024)


Why does Irish soda bread have a cross on it? ›

The Southern Irish regions bake their loaves in a classic round fashion and cut a cross on top of the bread. This was done for superstitious reasons, as families believed a cross on top of the bread would let the fairies out or ward off evil and protect the household.

Is 10 days enough in Ireland? ›

Ten days is just enough time to visit the highlights of Ireland, including Dublin, the Rock of Cashel, Galway, the Cliffs of Moher, the Dingle Peninsula, and Northern Ireland. It's an amazing trip, but expect to have busy, action packed days.

What makes Irish soda bread Irish? ›

Irish soda bread was first created in the 1830s, when baking soda was first introduced to the UK. At the time, Ireland was facing financial hardship and lack of resources, so they turned to soda bread out of neccessity, it was inexpensive and required few ingredients.

How many days do you need in Ireland? ›

Seven days will give you enough time to cover most of Ireland's must-see sites. Once you have explored Dublin and nearby sites, it is time to look for other highlights. Leave for Galway, Ireland's festival capital. Be part of Galway's gleeful atmosphere and learn more about local music and dance traditions.

Do people in Ireland eat Irish soda bread? ›

Ireland, for one, has embraced it's kind of bread – the soda bread. It is a basic staple among the Irish that they call it Irish Soda Bread. It's common to see the locals pair this famous bread with a bottle of Guinness too.

How are you supposed to eat Irish soda bread? ›

How to Eat Irish Soda Bread. This versatile bread works for any meal, but Irish soda bread is a natural for breakfast, whether simply spread with (Irish) butter and jam or alongside that hearty fry-up known as a full Irish breakfast. It's also wonderful with a cup of tea in the afternoon or as a late-night snack.

What can't you bring into Ireland? ›

illegal or dangerous drugs. indecent or obscene goods. certain foodstuffs (mainly meat, milk, fish or products thereof) products of endangered species.

Is it cheap to visit Ireland? ›

The cheapest months are always going to be off-peak times. This is generally January 1st – April 1st and September – December (except Christmas). BUT it's good to remember, a lot of attractions close up in Ireland for off-peak times. Some towns rely solely on tourism so once peak season is over, a lot of things close.

Is Ireland cheap or expensive? ›

At a country level, the cost of living in Ireland, including housing, is only 10% lower than the cost of living in the USA. However, the United States has many cities that are cheaper to live in than similar cities in Ireland.

What is a full Irish breakfast? ›

A traditional full Irish breakfast comprises bacon, sausage, eggs, potatoes, beans, soda bread or toast, tomatoes, mushrooms, and white or black pudding. For those wondering, black pudding coagulates the pig's blood into a sausage form. The white pudding is simply a pork sausage, usually flat.

Why is my Irish soda bread sticky? ›

Your dough can become sticky when you add too much water or the flour isn't suitable for the type of dough you are making. Over proofing or fermenting the dough can also result in the gluten structure weakening causing sticky dough.

What is another name for Irish soda bread? ›

In Ulster, the wholemeal variety is usually known as wheaten bread and is normally sweetened, while the term "soda bread" is restricted to the white savoury form. In the southern provinces of Ireland, the wholemeal variety is usually known as brown bread and is almost identical to the Ulster wheaten.

What is the best month to go to Ireland? ›

The best time to visit Ireland is between March and May, and September to November, when it's not as crowded as it is in summer, or as cold as it is in winter.

How difficult is it for an American to drive in Ireland? ›

Driving in Ireland can be tricky for us Americans. Driving on the left, quirky roundabouts, and teeny-tiny one lane roads that you are sharing with other drivers, animals, and farm equipment.

How much money do you need for a day in Ireland? ›

You should plan to spend around $155 (€143) per day on your vacation in Ireland. This is the average daily price based on the expenses of other visitors. Past travelers have spent, on average for one day: $44 (€41) on meals.

What's the difference between Irish bread and Irish soda bread? ›

Irish brown bread has a deep, nutty flavor because of its wheat flour and wheat bran while soda bread uses only white flour. Soda bread is slightly sweet and more scone-like while Irish brown bread is more savory with a tender interior.

Is there a difference between soda bread and Irish soda bread? ›

A soda bread defined in America

If you want to make an authentic Irish soda bread, the difference lies in what ingredients you should omit. According to Epicurious, Irish-American soda breads use caraway seeds and raisins in the recipe, while soda breads from Ireland lack both of these add-ins.

Why is my Irish soda bread not done in the middle? ›

Lower the temperature in the oven and cook it longer. Your oven is too hot if it is uncooked in the center. Try lowering the temp on your oven by 25F and extending the bake time. Don't put anything on the top of the bread to aid in browning until the last few min.

Why did my Irish soda bread not rise? ›

If your bread is not rising at all, there is usually a problem with the yeast. It might be out of date or, often, dead due to high temperature. Yeast begin to die at 120℉ (49℃). To see if the yeast you are using is active, add a little to warm water with a little sugar and look for bubbles after 5 - 10 minutes.

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