Delicious Irish Soda Bread Recipe for Every Occasion

Oh heart, how well thy kitchen filled with the aroma of freshly baked bread. My fellow foodies, today I present to you a recipe that’s been passed down from generations- Authentic Irish Soda Bread. The dense yet spongy texture of this soda bread is sure to take your taste buds on an unforgettable journey!

You might be wondering what exactly is soda bread, and why Irish? Well, in 19th century Ireland, baking soda was introduced as a cheaper alternative to yeast due to the potato famine. Baking soda and buttermilk react when combined in dough, creating carbon dioxide bubbles that make the bread rise without the need for yeast. Thus, creating Irish soda bread!

Why Irish? While other countries also have their versions of soda bread- most notably brown bread in Scotland or wheaten bread in Northern Ireland- traditional Irish Soda Bread only requires four essential ingredients: flour (preferably self-rising), baking soda, salt, and buttermilk.

Not only is this recipe practical due to its minimal ingredients – it’s also perfect for those who are intolerant to dairy products or allergic to yeast. However, don’t let that fool you into thinking that this recipe is bland. Authentically made with self-rising flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda – this recipe provides a mild sweetness that pairs perfectly with any savory or sweet accompaniment.

With just a few basic ingredients, this easy and authentic Irish soda bread recipe will quickly become a staple in your kitchen. Stay tuned as we dive into the ingredients and preparation of Ireland’s most beloved quick bread!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Authentic Irish Soda Bread-Yeast Free
Authentic Irish Soda Bread-Yeast Free

Oh, dear reader! Are you tired of slaving over a warm oven and fussing with yeast every time you make bread? Look no further than this Irish Soda Bread – a recipe so simple and easy that even the most novice of cooks can whip up an authentic loaf in no time.

What’s not to love about a bread baked without yeast? This soda bread is perfect for those who are gluten intolerant or simply seeking an alternative to regular bread recipes. The ingredients are minimal but essential – self-rising flour, salt, bicarbonate of soda, honey, olive oil, and unsweetened plain yogurt. And when these ingredients are combined, they create a bread so moist and flavorful that you’ll be reaching for it at every mealtime.

Not convinced yet? The beauty of this recipe lies in its versatility. You can add your favorite ingredients like raisins, cranberries or chocolate chips for a sweet twist or caraway or fennel seeds if you prefer savory flavors. The possibilities are endless and entirely up to your taste buds.

So, skip the yeast bread and opt for this traditional Irish soda bread instead. Easy to make, delicious to eat – trust me; this is the bread recipe you never knew you needed in your life.

Ingredient List

Sure thing! Here are 11 unique photo captions for the Authentic Irish Soda Bread recipe:
Sure thing! Here are 11 unique photo captions for the Authentic Irish Soda Bread recipe:

The Essential Ingredients

To make Authentic Irish Soda Bread, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 3 cups of self-rising flour – Self-rising flour contains baking powder and salt already mixed in the right proportions.
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 ¾ cups (14oz) of buttermilk – Traditional Irish soda bread requires buttermilk which reacts with bicarbonate of soda, an acid, to produce carbon dioxide gas creating the rise in the bread.

Optional Additions

  • 1 tablespoon of honey – for a slightly sweet taste
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil – for a softer texture
  • 2 teaspoons of lemon juice or white vinegar – aiding in the chemical reaction between the buttermilk and baking soda.

Tip: If you can’t find buttermilk, you can make your own by adding 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar to 1 cup (8 ounces) of milk. Allow the mixture to sit for a few minutes before use.

Note: Traditional Irish soda bread is made with basic ingredients that are always readily available. The recipe is simple enough that even if you don’t have all-purpose flour on hand, you can still make do with plain wheat flour or a mix of both. Also feel free to substitute any gluten-free flour to create a dairy-free or yeast-free version for those with specific dietary requirements.

The Recipe How-To

Now that we have all the ingredients ready, it’s time to start making our Irish Soda Bread. This recipe is very straightforward and easy to make, perfect for those who are new to baking or simply want a quick and delicious bread recipe.

Step 1: Preheat the Oven and Prepare Your Baking Dish

Before starting, preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Next, lightly grease your 8-inch round cake pan with olive oil or unsalted butter. Set it aside.

Step 2: Mix the Dry Ingredients

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together 4 cups of self-rising flour or a combination of 3 cups of all-purpose flour and 1 cup of whole wheat flour, then add in 1 teaspoon of baking soda, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Mix well and make a well in the center of the bowl.

Step 3: Combine Wet Ingredients

In a separate bowl, whisk together 2 cups of unsweetened plain yogurt, 2 tablespoons of honey or maple syrup, and 2 teaspoons of lemon juice. Add in 2 tablespoons of olive oil and stir until mixed thoroughly.

Step 4: Make Dough

Pour this mixture into the flour mixture gradually in three parts. Using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, stir to combine all ingredients until they form a dough.

Step 5: Knead Dough

Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Next, knead the dough for about two minutes until it becomes smooth and pliable.

Step 6: Shape Dough

Shape your dough into an even round ball shape on your greased baking pan/sheet. You may also cut a cross into the top with a sharp knife, to release steam while baking.

Step 7: Bake Bread

Bake for about35-45 minutes depending on your oven, until it has cooked through, and turned golden brown on top. One way to tell if bread is done is to knock on the bottom, and if it sounds hollow, then it’s ready!

Step 8: Cool, Slice, & Enjoy

Remove your bread from the oven and allow it to cool for about five minutes before placing it on a wire rack to cool completely. Slice into wedges and serve warm with some Irish butter or jam, cheese, or any soup of your choice!

Substitutions and Variations

 Slice me up and enjoy a bite of Ireland!
Slice me up and enjoy a bite of Ireland!

Hark! Fear not, forsooth, if thou dost not have all the ingredients of this authentic Irish soda bread recipe at hand. Lo, there are many substitutions and variations that can be made to this simple yet delicious bread recipe.

Firstly, if thou dost not have self-rising flour at thy disposal, fear ye not. Forsooth, one can make their self-rising flour by combining one cup of plain all-purpose flour with one teaspoon of baking powder and a pinch of salt.

If thou doth desire a whole wheat bread, wheat flour can be used in place of white flour. Verily, this substitution will yield a denser loaf with a nuttier flavor.

For those who doth naught prefer dairy products or are intolerant thereof, unsweetened almond milk or soy milk can replace buttermilk. Simply mix one tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar into one cup of plant-based milk and let it stand for approximately 5 minutes before adding it to the recipe.

If thou seekest a gluten-free option without using yeast or rising agents, rice flour can be used in place of wheat flour. In this case, the bread may end up being denser and heavier than traditional Irish soda bread but still delectable nonetheless.

Finally, for those with a sweeter tooth or looking for an alternative to honey, one can substitute maple syrup or agave nectar as a sweetener. The possibilities for substitutions and variations of this easy Irish soda bread recipe are endless!

Let not the lack of certain ingredients dissuade thee from making thy own homemade bread. Forsooth, improvisation is the key to achieving perfect results every time!

Serving and Pairing

 Warm, fresh, and oh so delicious.
Warm, fresh, and oh so delicious.

Greetings, dear readers! Ah, my mouth begins to water as I think about serving up a warm slice of Irish soda bread fresh from the oven. What could be better? This hearty bread pairs perfectly with soups, stews or chili, thanks to its dense and filling texture. It can also be enjoyed on its own, spread with a smear of creamy butter or drizzled with some sweet honey.

For those seeking a more savory option, try pairing it with a sharp cheddar cheese or smoked salmon. Alternatively, enjoy a slice with some tangy and sweet honey mustard for a burst of flavor that will tantalize the taste buds. And why not add some fresh herbs like rosemary or thyme into the bread dough to elevate your serving game?

But let’s not forget about breakfast! Toast up a slice and top it with some scrambled eggs and avocado for an Irish twist on an avocado toast.

And last but not least, let’s talk about drinks. A cup of strong black tea is the classic accompaniment to Irish soda bread – in fact, they say you haven’t truly tasted soda bread until you’ve tried it alongside a piping hot pot of tea. For something stronger, you could always opt for a pint of Guinness beer or hard cider.

Whatever time of day you choose to indulge in this delicious bread, one thing is for certain – your taste buds will thank you.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 No need to wait for the dough to rise–we've got soda bread!
No need to wait for the dough to rise–we’ve got soda bread!

Hark! For those who wish to prepare their Irish Soda Bread ahead of time, or have leftovers to keep, fret not, for I have some tips for ye.

To make-ahead your bread, ye may preheat your oven and bake the loaf as directed in the recipe earlier in the day or the night before. Once cooled, wrap tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil, then store at room temperature. It shall remain tender and delectable up to 3 days after baking.

But if you would rather store it for longer, or wish to make multiple loaves for later consumption on different occasions or out of convenience, ye may freeze the bread for up to 3 months. Just wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and a layer of aluminum foil, then place it in a freezer-safe bag or container.

When ye desire to enjoy your bread once again after days or weeks of storage, thaw it overnight in the refrigerator. Then, bring it back to room temperature for 30 minutes before reheating in the oven at 350°F (180°C) until warm – approximately 10-15 minutes.

The key is to ensure that your Irish Soda Bread remains moist but not soggy during storage and reheating. In accordance with that notion, should ye desire to reheat only a portion of the bread instead of slicing the whole loaf at once, slice off only what you need and warm it up in your toaster or microwave.

Thus concludes my humble tips on Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating of Ye Olde Irish Soda Bread!

Tips for Perfect Results

 Just add butter…and maybe some jam too.
Just add butter…and maybe some jam too.

Listen to me, fair cooks and bakers alike. For I bear great tidings of tips that shall aid thee in thy journey to make the perfect Irish Soda Bread. As a seasoned chef who hath witnessed many a loaf rise and fall, I implore thee to pay heed to these tips for perfect results.

Firstly, make sure to handle the dough gently and not overmix it. Unlike yeast breads that require kneading, soda breads are more delicate and should be handled with care. Overmixing or excessive kneading can lead to tough bread.

Secondly, it is essential for the ingredients to be at room temperature before starting the recipe. This will ensure that all ingredients fully incorporate into each other which is instrumental in achieving a perfect texture.

Thirdly, if you prefer a sweeter version of the traditional Irish Soda Bread, you can add more honey or sugar than what the recipe calls for.

Fourthly, while baking soda is a critical element in this recipe as it helps dough rise, make sure not to use too much of it as an excess amount can cause the bread to be dense or develop a metallic flavor.

Fifthly, adding acid like buttermilk or lemon juice is crucial since it helps activate the baking soda thereby making dough rise well.

Sixthly, avoid overbaking the bread as it may become dry and crumbly. To determine when it is ready, tap the bottom of the loaf; if it sounds hollow then it indicates that the bread is cooked through.

Finally, let thy bread cool down completely on a wire rack instead of cutting it immediately from the oven as this will help to retain its moisture and flavor.

With these tips in mind, I am certain thine efforts of creating a delightful Irish Soda Bread shall come to fruition. Good luck on thy baking expedition!


Hark! If thou hast any queries or doubts about the recipe, let not thy heart be troubled. In this section, I shall provide thee with answers to some of the frequently asked questions regarding this authentic Irish soda bread – yeast free recipe. So fret not, and read on for more information.

Why did the Irish use baking soda instead of yeast?

Before commercial yeast became widely available, Irish bakers used a combination of baking soda and buttermilk to make their bread rise. Because quick breads didn’t rely on yeast to rise, they used a softer flour than the hard wheat flour that was typically used in traditional yeasted bread.

Does Irish soda bread contain yeast?

This recipe is for a type of bread called Irish soda bread, which doesn’t require yeast as a leavening agent. Instead, baking soda and buttermilk are used to make it rise.

Why did my Irish soda bread fall apart?

Achieving the right texture for your traditional soda bread can be tricky. One common issue that you might encounter is excessive crumbliness. This can be attributed to the improper ratio of flour and buttermilk used in the recipe. It is essential to measure the flour carefully to prevent overuse and ensure the appropriate amount of buttermilk is added.

What is traditional Irish soda bread made of?

An elemental recipe for classic Irish soda bread calls for a handful of key ingredients – flour, baking soda, salt, and buttermilk. The acid content in the buttermilk responds to the baking soda’s alkaline base, producing the bread’s rising effect. The resulting lift, attributed to the interaction between baking soda and buttermilk, is what earns this bread its recognizable name – “soda bread.”

Why didn t my Irish soda bread rise?

The amount of sodium bicarbonate you used in the recipe was insufficient, resulting in a lower amount of carbon dioxide produced. It seems like the baking soda you used might have been expired or too old. To check for its effectiveness, you can try mixing 1/4 teaspoon of the baking soda with 2 teaspoons of vinegar or lemon juice.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this authentic Irish Soda Bread recipe is a true winner. It’s simple to make, yeast-free, and yields traditional Irish soda bread that will transport your taste buds straight to the Emerald Isle. With essential ingredients like flour, buttermilk, baking soda, and salt, this bread is not only delicious but also incredibly easy to prepare in your own kitchen.

Whether you’re an experienced baker or just starting out, you’ll find this recipe to be a true delight. Its unique texture and flavor make it stand out from any other bread recipe out there. So why not give it a try? You won’t be disappointed. Plus, with the many variations and substitutions you can make, you can tailor this recipe to suit your preferences.

So whether you’re celebrating St. Patrick’s Day or simply craving something deliciously different, why not give Irish Soda Bread a try? Trust me: once you’ve made it once, you’ll want to make it time and time again!

Authentic Irish Soda Bread-Yeast Free

Authentic Irish Soda Bread-Yeast Free Recipe

This soda bread recipe is my personal one and very simple to make. Most homes in Ireland still make this bread daily and all have slight variations in ingredients or baking times. If you have ever traveled to Ireland, this is the soda bread you ate with your seafood chowder, soup, stew and breakfasts!
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Irish
Keyword < 60 Mins, Breads, Easy, European, Grains, Healthy, Inexpensive, Low Cholesterol, Oven, Quick Breads, St. Patrick's Day
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Calories 244.4kcal


  • 8 ounces wheat flour
  • 8 ounces self-rising flour
  • 10 -14 fluid ounces unsweetened plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 pinch salt


  • Grease and flour a 8" (20cm) cake tin (high walls are better but not necessary.).
  • Preheat oven to 190°C/375°F or 180C/350F if using a fan assisted oven.
  • Sieve self-rising flour with bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. (It is important to sieve the bicarbonate of soda with the self-rising flour, if it is added at a later stage it will give the bread a greenish tinge!).
  • Add the wheat flour to the bowl (no need to sieve).
  • In a jug mix the yogurt, honey and olive oil then pour onto the flour mixtures in the bowl.
  • Stir with a wooden spoon until well mixed and a soft sticky dough is formed.
  • Flour a surface for kneading and knead lightly (20 turns max). Form into a round shape, this does not have to fit the tin as it will spread when cooking.
  • Transfer to the floured cake tin and with a knife cut a cross across the top and place in the oven for 45 minutes. (The cutting of the cross helps to portion the bread for slicing in quarters.).
  • Eat when cool with just real butter or your favourite topping and a cup of sweet tea. It is lovely toasted too!


Serving: 100g | Calories: 244.4kcal | Carbohydrates: 45.8g | Protein: 7.9g | Fat: 3.9g | Saturated Fat: 1.2g | Cholesterol: 4.9mg | Sodium: 580.4mg | Fiber: 3.8g | Sugar: 4.1g

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