Delicious, Quick and Easy Irish Soda Bread Recipe

Are you looking to try your hand at making some authentic Irish bread? Look no further than this delicious Real Irish Brown Soda Bread Loaf recipe. With its hearty texture and rich flavor, this recipe is sure to impress even the most discerning of palates.

One of the standout features of this recipe is its use of whole wheat flour, giving it a distinct flavor that’s impossible to resist. But don’t let that intimidate you – making soda bread at home is easier than you might think, and requires only a few simple steps and ingredients.

Whether you’re providing the perfect side dish for your St. Patrick’s Day party or just looking to mix up your usual bread routine, this Irish brown bread recipe is not one to be missed. So dust off your baking gear and get ready for a treat that will have everyone coming back for seconds (and thirds!).

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Real Irish Brown Soda Bread Loaf
Real Irish Brown Soda Bread Loaf

Fellow bread lovers, I must convince you that this Real Irish Brown Soda Bread Loaf recipe is a true winner. So, let’s start with the obvious – why settle for plain white bread when you can have something far more flavorful? Enter Irish brown soda bread, a distinctive brown bread with a deliciously nutty flavor and dense texture.

This recipe has it all: delicious crumbly crust and soft interior, thanks to the combination of wheat flour and whole wheat flour. The buttermilk lends a slight tangy flavor that perfectly complements the sweetness from the caster sugar. The addition of rolled oats not only gives the bread extra texture and crunch but also provides a wealth of nutritional benefits to your diet. And because this recipe uses baking soda instead of yeast, you don’t need to worry about kneading or waiting for it to rise, making it great even for beginner bakers!

Additionally, baking soda is an alkaline that reacts with the acid in the buttermilk causing the bread to rise beautifully. This means you will enjoy quick baking satisfaction and not have to constantly monitor your dough as it rises.

In summary, this traditional Irish brown soda bread is unlike any other bread you’ve tasted before. It’s hearty and wholesome, yet incredibly satisfying in its simplicity. Enjoy it freshly baked or toasted for breakfast and pair it with your choice of sweet or savory toppings! Trust me; once you try this recipe, you’ll never look at plain white bread again.

Ingredient List

 The perfect hearty addition to any meal
The perfect hearty addition to any meal

What You Will Need

To make the Real Irish Brown Soda Bread Loaf, you will need:

  • 4 cups of whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups of buttermilk (or sour milk)
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 3/4 cup of caster sugar

Ingredient Notes

This recipe combination of flours will give the bread a hearty dense texture that is ideal for sandwiches and toast. All-purpose flour gives the bread structure while whole wheat flour adds fiber, vitamins, and a nutty flavor that pairs well with the rustic nature of Irish Brown Soda Bread.

Baking Soda

As this is a soda bread recipe, baking soda is essential for the lift. With this recipe, you use one tsp baking soda and mix thoroughly with salt before adding to the mixture.

Note: It is important to measure precisely when baking with soda as too much can result in a metallic aftertaste.

Buttermilk or Sour Milk

The acidic content in buttermilk reacts with baking soda to create carbon dioxide gas bubbles, which will help raise the bread during baking. If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, sour milk or yogurt will work well.

Caster Sugar

This ingredient adds just enough sweetness to balance out the nuttiness of whole wheat flour. If you prefer your bread less sweet, reduce the amount or leave it out altogether.

With these ingredients on hand, we are ready to begin making this Real Irish Brown Soda Bread Loaf Recipe.

The Recipe How-To

 A warm and inviting aroma straight from the oven
A warm and inviting aroma straight from the oven

Mixing the Dry Ingredients

The first step is to preheat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius. You then want to gather all your ingredients, which include 4 cups of whole wheat flour, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 2 teaspoons of baking soda. In a large mixing bowl, begin by combining the measured out whole wheat flour, salt, and baking soda. Use a whisk or fork, if you don’t have a stand or hand mixer.

Incorporating the Wet Ingredients

After mixing your dry ingredients, it’s time for the wet ingredients. You’ll need 2 cups of buttermilk for the recipe. The thing to remember about buttermilk is that it is acidic in nature and reacts with baking soda to produce carbon dioxide gas – this aids in leavening the bread. To your large mixing bowl with dry ingredients, create a well in the center and add in the buttermilk into it. Using a fork or spatula start stirring from the center outward to mix together until the dough starts to form.

Kneading and Shaping

Once you’ve mixed your dough, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead briefly until it comes together nicely. Then shape the dough slightly into an oval/round shape loaf (5inch). Make sure you don’t overwork the dough while kneading otherwise gluten strands will form which will then affect how bread rises.

Baking Your Bread

Place your shaped loaf on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or sprinkled lightly with flour. Then use a sharp knife or razor blade and mark – usually two slits forming a cross-shape on top of your bread – this will aid in heat distributing evenly when cooking. Lastly, transfered into your preheated oven and bake for approx.. 35-40 mins. Before removing to make sure you check if the bread is cooked completely by tapping its bottom. If it makes a hollow sound, then your bread is ready.

Substitutions and Variations

 Satisfy your carb cravings with this delicious bread
Satisfy your carb cravings with this delicious bread

There are many ways to make this Irish Brown Soda Bread Loaf recipe your own. Here are some substitutions and variations you can try:

– Wholemeal flour: If you want a denser, heartier loaf, swap out some or all of the plain flour with wholemeal flour. This will give your bread more fiber and nutrients.

– Rolled oats: Want a bit of texture and flavor in your bread? Add a handful of rolled oats to the dough, or sprinkle some on top before baking.

– Guinness bread: For a truly Irish twist, swap out some of the buttermilk for Guinness stout. This will add richness and depth to your bread.

– Wheat bran and germ: Boost the nutritional value of your bread by adding wheat bran and germ to the dough. These ingredients are full of fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

– Dark brown sugar: If you prefer sweeter bread, swap out the caster sugar for dark brown sugar. This will give your loaf a rich caramel flavor.

– White flour: If you don’t have plain or wholemeal flour on hand, you can use white flour instead. Just keep in mind that it won’t have as much flavor or nutrition as the other types of flour.

– Kosher salt: If you don’t have regular table salt, you can use kosher salt instead. Just be aware that kosher salt is less salty than table salt, so you may need to add a little more to get the same level of seasoning.

No matter how you choose to customize this recipe, remember to keep the basic ingredients intact: buttermilk, baking soda, salt, and flour. These are the key components of traditional Irish Brown Soda Bread Loaf and ensure that your final product will be delicious and authentic.

Serving and Pairing

 Easy to make and perfect for all levels of bakers
Easy to make and perfect for all levels of bakers

When it comes to serving Irish Brown Soda Bread, there are plenty of options. You can slice it and enjoy it as a side for soups, stews or salads. It pairs perfectly with hearty meats such as beef, pork, or lamb. The bread’s earthy flavor is also an excellent accompaniment for cheeses like cheddar or brie.

To add some extra flavor to your bread and take it to the next level, you can try serving it with some butter, honey, or marmalade on top. The sweetness complements the mildly bitter aftertaste of the bread perfectly.

If you’re feeling adventurous, why not use it in a recipe? This loaf of Irish Brown Soda Bread can be transformed into something even more delicious like Guinness bread or Irish wheaten bread by adding in wheat bran or wheat germ to the mixture.

Finally, don’t forget to serve your freshly baked soda bread warm from the oven. There’s nothing better than enjoying the warm gooey texture of the bread while it’s still fresh out of the oven.

Overall the versatility of this traditional Irish brown soda bread recipe means you can enjoy it in numerous ways and not just as a loaf sliced up with dinner.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 A slice of Ireland in every bite
A slice of Ireland in every bite

If you’re planning to serve the Irish Brown Soda Bread Loaf Recipe later, you can make it ahead and store it properly. This bread is perfect for making ahead because it stays fresh very long. You can either store it in the refrigerator, freezer or in an airtight container at room temperature.

To make-ahead and refrigerate, let the bread cool completely after baking. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, and then place it inside a resealable plastic bag. The bread will last up to a week in the refrigerator but you should try to consume it within three days for best results.

If you prefer freezing your bread, do so after cooling completely wrapped in foil or plastic wrap, then in a resealable freezer bag, and keep it up to six months. For thawing, remove from the bag and leave it at room temperature for a few hours.

When you’re ready to reheat the bread, preheat your oven at 375°F (190°C) for about 10-12 minutes. Remove any wrapping on the bread and wrap the soda bread in aluminum foil, place it on a baking sheet or directly onto the oven rack for reheating. Heat it in the oven for up 10-15 minutes until it is warmed through.

Once heated through, let the Irish Brown Soda Bread Loaf Recipe cool for some time before serving again with your choice of toppings like butter or jams! It’s also perfect with soups, stews or casseroles during colder weather.

Tips for Perfect Results

 The perfect accompaniment to a warm bowl of soup
The perfect accompaniment to a warm bowl of soup

Baking Irish Brown Soda Bread requires following some essential tips to ensure perfect results. Here are some useful tips that may help you achieve the perfect loaf of bread:

Firstly, ensure that all of your ingredients are at room temperature. Warm buttermilk, in particular, will activate the baking soda and allow the bread to rise more effectively.

The consistency of your dough is also critical to the texture of your final product. If the dough is too wet or sticky, add some flour to it until it is more manageable. Conversely, if the dough is too dry, then add buttermilk slightly to give it a soft and moist texture.

Before baking, create a cross on top of the dough with a sharp knife about 1/4 inch deep. This technique allows for even heat distribution throughout the loaf during baking.

When first placing the bread into the oven, bake for 10 minutes at a higher temperature between 425°F-450°F before lowering to 375°F for the remainder of cooking time. Doing so will facilitate rising and browning while preventing cracks in your crust.

While there’s no need for proofing with soda breads because they do not contain yeast, let your Irish brown soda bread rest for around 10 minutes after baking before transferring it onto a wire rack to cool. It helps to bring out more flavors as well as moisture evenly through the bread.

Finally, cover this traditional brown bread with a tea towel and wrap it tightly when storing it in an airtight box or nylon bag to keep it fresh longer. Make sure that you do not tie it too tight so that air is prevented from circulating within.

By following these tips closely, your next irish brown soda bread recipe will have exceptional flavor and an optimal lightness with lots of homemade goodness!


Before we conclude the article, let’s take a moment to answer some frequently asked questions about our real Irish brown soda bread loaf recipe. From how to store it, to possible ingredient substitutions, we’ve got you covered. Read on to ensure your baking experience is as smooth as butter on a hot potato.

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

When it comes to making Irish soda breads, the key to authenticity lies in the ingredients that are used. Compared to soda breads made in America, Irish versions typically lack certain add-ins such as caraway seeds and raisins, as these are common in soda breads from the United States. According to Epicurious, omitting these ingredients is one way to ensure the authenticity of your Irish soda bread recipe.

What is traditional Irish soda bread made of?

Irish soda bread is a classic recipe that includes flour, salt, baking soda, and buttermilk. The buttermilk contributes acidity that interacts with baking soda’s alkaline properties to activate the bread’s leavening. It is this leavening process that earned the bread its distinctive name, “soda bread.”

What is the key ingredient in Irish soda bread that makes it different from other breads?

Soda bread’s distinct texture stems from the chemical reaction between the acid in sour milk and baking soda, resulting in tiny carbon dioxide bubbles inside the dough. Furthermore, the traditional shape of soda bread holds a historical significance.

Why does my brown soda bread fall apart?

When making soda bread, it is important to maintain the right balance between flour and buttermilk. Adding too much flour and too little buttermilk can result in a crumbly texture. To ensure that you get the perfect texture, it is recommended that you measure the flour properly by spooning and leveling it.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this Irish Brown Soda Bread Loaf recipe is a must-try for any bread lover. It’s easy to make, requires few ingredients, and its rich and comforting taste will transport you straight to the heart of rural Ireland.

With the right technique and tips, you’ll be able to bake a delicious loaf that will be the envy of your friends and family. Whether it’s for breakfast, snack time or dinner, this bread complements any meal or can be enjoyed on its own.

So why not give this traditional Irish brown soda bread recipe a try? It’s a perfect way to experience the flavors of Ireland while enjoying the comfort of home-baked bread. Don’t forget to share it with others as well so they too can enjoy this amazing bread. Once you’ve tried it, I guarantee that you’ll be hooked!

Real Irish Brown Soda Bread Loaf

Real Irish Brown Soda Bread Loaf Recipe

There are so many Irish soda bread recipes on the internet, many of them American not Irish at all. This is the standard loaf brown soda bread used all over Ireland. It is to us what the Tollhouse Chocolate Chip cookie recipe is to Americans! It's on the back of our national flour brand, Odlums. Think King Arthur. You can't go wrong with this recipe.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Irish
Keyword < 4 Hours, Breads, Easy, European, Healthy, Inexpensive, Low Cholesterol, Quick Breads, St. Patrick's Day
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Servings 1 loaf
Calories 2052.9kcal


  • 275 g coarse whole meal flour
  • 175 g plain flour (use Bread flour for better texture)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons caster sugar (optional)
  • 500 ml buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon oil


  • Place wholemeal in a large mixing bowl.
  • Sieve in Cream flour, salt, soda and sugar (if used).
  • Add buttermilk and oil.
  • Mix well.
  • Transfer to a well greased 2lb loaf tin.
  • Bake in a preheated oven at 170°C, 325°F, Gas 3 for approximately 1 hour.
  • Bread will be baked if base sounds hollow when tapped.
  • Cool on a wire tray. For a soft crust, wrap bread in a clean tea towel.
  • Variations for bread In preparation, after adding the buttermilk and oil, add 50g/2oz chopped walnuts and 50g/2oz chopped dried apricots; When adding buttermilk and oil, add 1 tablespoon of treacle; Add 50g/2oz of grated cheddar cheese to the dry ingredients.


Serving: 1051g | Calories: 2052.9kcal | Carbohydrates: 390.9g | Protein: 77.2g | Fat: 25.4g | Saturated Fat: 5.8g | Cholesterol: 20.4mg | Sodium: 2975.4mg | Fiber: 39.5g | Sugar: 26.2g

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