Delicious Irish Soda Bread Recipe for Your Next Meal

Are you tired of the same old sliced bread from the grocery store? Want to try something new? Let me introduce you to the classic, traditional Irish soda bread. This bread recipe has been passed down for generations in Ireland, and for good reason – it’s absolutely delicious!

What sets this bread apart is its unique combination of flour, baking soda, and buttermilk. Rather than relying on yeast to rise, soda bread relies on a reaction between the acid in the buttermilk and the baking soda to create air bubbles and rise. This simple but essential technique creates a dense, moist bread with a slightly tangy flavor that pairs perfectly with sweet or savory toppings.

But don’t just take my word for it – give this recipe a try and taste for yourself what makes traditional Irish soda bread so special. With just a few basic ingredients and minimal effort required, there’s no reason not to add this classic recipe to your baking repertoire. So preheat your oven and get ready to impress your family and friends with a freshly baked loaf of homemade Irish soda bread.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Real Irish Soda Bread
Real Irish Soda Bread

If you’re looking for a bread that combines simplicity, versatility and flavor, you’ll absolutely love this traditional Irish Soda Bread recipe. Not only is it easy to make, but it also requires only a handful of ingredients that you likely already have in your pantry.

What I love about this recipe is how the Irish soda bread perfectly balances the nuttiness of oatmeal with the sweetness of currants and raisins, and the subtle spice of caraway seed. The buttermilk, sour cream or plain yogurt in the recipe adds a tangy flavor while also reacting with the baking soda to create rise and texture.

This classic Irish dish is perfect for any day of the week and pairs well with nearly everything – from a light salad to hearty soup – making it an ideal addition to any meal. It’s also versatile enough that you can easily adjust the sweetness or add additional ingredients such as nuts, seeds, or spices to suit your taste buds.

Most importantly, what makes this recipe special is its ability to transport you straight to Ireland. Every bite of its crispy crust and tender crumb evokes memories of cozy Irish cottages on a rainy day. Be ready to experience the authentic taste of Irish soda bread and indulge in its comforting flavors.

Ingredient List

 A slice of heaven, straight from Ireland
A slice of heaven, straight from Ireland

Here are the essential ingredients you’ll need for this traditional Irish soda bread recipe:

Dry Ingredients:

  • 4 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of cream of tartar
  • 4 tablespoons of granulated sugar
  • 1 cup of oatmeal (optional)
  • 1/2 cup of currants or raisins (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons of caraway seeds (optional)

Wet Ingredients:

  • 1 and 3/4 cups of buttermilk
  • If you do not have buttermilk, use one of the following substitutes:
    • mix 1 and 3/4 cups of whole milk with 2 tablespoons white vinegar or lemon juice, let it stand for a few minutes before using in place of buttermilk
    • mix together 3/4 cup plain yogurt + 1 cup sour cream to replace the buttermilk
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted

Note: Baking soda is one of the essential ingredients in making a successful Irish soda bread. However, it can lose its effectiveness over time. Check the expiration date on your baking soda and replace it every six months. Additionally, when mixing the acid (buttermilk) with baking soda, make sure to combine them just prior to mixing with the dry ingredients to allow for optimal reaction.

The Recipe How-To

 No yeast. No kneading. Just perfect soda bread.
No yeast. No kneading. Just perfect soda bread.


  • 4 cups of flour
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1 cup of currants or raisins
  • 2 teaspoons caraway seed
  • 1 ¾ cups of buttermilk


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking soda, sugar, raisins or currants, and caraway seeds.
  3. Gradually stir in the buttermilk, adding enough until a stiff dough is formed.
  4. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for 1 to 2 minutes.
  5. Form the dough into a round loaf and place on a greased baking sheet or cast iron skillet.
  6. Using a sharp knife, cut a shallow “X” shape into the top of the loaf.
  7. Bake for 65 to 75 minutes or until the bread is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped.
  8. Let it cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.


  • Do not overwork the dough as it can cause the bread to be tough and chewy.
  • If you prefer a softer crust, brush melted butter over it right out of the oven.

Following these easy steps will result in traditional Irish soda bread that is perfect for any occasion.

Substitutions and Variations

 A crunchy crust and a soft, fluffy middle make for an irresistible combination
A crunchy crust and a soft, fluffy middle make for an irresistible combination

Are you looking to put a creative twist on this traditional Irish soda bread recipe? Here are a few substitution and variation ideas to help you get started.

– Oatmeal: For added texture and flavor, consider substituting some of the all-purpose flour with oatmeal. A 1:1 ratio swap should work well in this recipe.

– Currants or Raisins: If currants or raisins aren’t your jam, try swapping them out for dried cranberries, blueberries, or cherries for a tart, fruity twist.

– Caraway Seeds: While caraway seeds are an essential ingredient in traditional Irish soda bread, if you aren’t a fan or want to switch things up, try adding different complementary spices like cinnamon, nutmeg or cardamom.

– Buttermilk: If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, plain yogurt or sour cream can be used as a substitute. Or create your own buttermilk replacement by mixing milk with vinegar or lemon juice at a 1:1 ratio.

– Eggs: For a vegan version of this bread recipe or if you have an egg allergy, simply omit the eggs altogether. Note that this may slightly alter the texture of the bread.

With these variations, the possibilities are endless. You’ll be able to enjoy the classic flavor of traditional Irish soda bread while customizing it to your taste preferences. Don’t be afraid to get creative and experiment with different ingredients!

Serving and Pairing

 A warm loaf right out of the oven – there's nothing like it!
A warm loaf right out of the oven – there’s nothing like it!

Now that your Irish soda bread is ready, it’s time to serve it up and enjoy! This bread is perfect for any meal or occasion, from breakfast to dinner. For breakfast, try slicing a piece of warm soda bread and slathering it with butter and honey. The sweetness from the currants and raisins will complement the smoothness of butter and the richness of honey.

For lunch, make a sandwich with the bread by layering sliced turkey or ham, cheese, lettuce, and mayo. It’s also great toasted as an addition to any soup or salad. And for dinner, serve it alongside a hearty stew or roasted vegetables.

If you’re having guests over for brunch or afternoon tea, offer a plate of freshly baked soda bread slices with a variety of spreads such as marmalade, raspberry jam, and whipped honey butter. The nutty flavor from the oatmeal and caraway seeds pairs well with sweet spreads.

As for pairing beverages with your Irish soda bread, try serving it with Guinness beer or an Irish coffee for an authentic Celtic taste. A nice cup of tea is also a fabulous choice, especially with a dollop of cream and sugar.

Overall, this versatile soda bread can be enjoyed with many types of foods and drinks. So go ahead and experiment until you find your perfect match!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 A taste of Ireland in every bite
A taste of Ireland in every bite

Irish soda bread is best served fresh out of the oven but can also be stored for a few days if kept properly. The good news is that this recipe is perfect for making ahead and storing.

If you’re planning to make the bread ahead of time, allow it to cool completely before wrapping it tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. This will help keep the bread moist and prevent it from drying out. It can be stored at room temperature for up to three days.

You can also freeze Irish soda bread for up to two months. To do so, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or foil, and then place it in a resealable freezer bag or airtight container. When you’re ready to eat the bread, just remove it from the freezer and let it thaw at room temperature before reheating.

To reheat the bread, preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Remove any wrapping from the bread and place it on a baking sheet. Cover the bread with foil and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until warmed through. If you prefer a crispy crust, remove the foil during the last five minutes of baking.

Irish soda bread can also be reheated in a toaster oven or even in a skillet on the stove. Just slice the bread into thick pieces and heat over medium-high heat until warm throughout.

Remember, Irish soda bread is best served fresh and warm out of the oven. But with these storing and reheating tips, you can still enjoy it just as much a few days later.

Tips for Perfect Results

 Perfect for breakfast, lunch or as a snack
Perfect for breakfast, lunch or as a snack

Now that you have the perfect recipe for traditional Irish soda bread, it is time to focus on some tips for achieving flawless results. It is said that baking soda bread can be quite tricky at times, but with these tips in mind, you won’t have anything to worry about.

One of the essential ingredients in this recipe is buttermilk. It is important to use fresh buttermilk for the best results possible. The acid in the buttermilk reacts with the base in baking soda, producing carbon dioxide which helps the bread rise. If your buttermilk has expired or isn’t fresh, it may not rise properly and your bread will not be dense and moist as it should be.

When baking soda bread, it is crucial not to overmix the dough. Once you add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, mix them until they are just combined. Overmixing will cause gluten to develop more than it should, leading to a tough and chewy texture.

Also, when measuring flour, don’t scoop it out directly from the bag using your measuring cup but pour it into a separate container first. Scooping will result in too much flour being used and your bread could turn out too dry or crumbly.

Lastly, be sure to preheat your oven before baking and place your bread in the center of the oven. This ensures that your Irish soda bread bakes evenly throughout and rises correctly.

By following these simple tips and tricks, you’re guaranteed perfect results every time you bake traditional Irish soda bread!


Now, let’s move on to the FAQ section where we’ll address some of the most commonly asked questions about this Real Irish Soda Bread recipe. Whether this is your first time making soda bread or you’re an experienced baker, these tips and answers will help ensure that your bread turns out perfectly every time.

What is traditional Irish soda bread made of?

The key components of classic Irish soda bread include flour, salt, baking soda, and buttermilk. The acidity of the buttermilk interacts with the basic properties of baking soda to create a rising effect in the bread. This specific combination of ingredients results in the distinctively named “soda bread.”

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

When it comes to making Irish soda bread, the key to authenticity is in knowing which ingredients to leave out. Specifically, if you want to create a soda bread that is true to its Irish roots, you should avoid using caraway seeds and raisins in your recipe. Interestingly, these two add-ins are often used in Irish-American soda breads but are not commonly found in soda breads made in Ireland.

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

The distinct consistency of soda bread can be attributed to the chemical reaction that occurs when sour milk and baking soda are combined, resulting in the formation of tiny carbon dioxide bubbles throughout the dough. Additionally, the shape of soda bread holds significant cultural significance.

Why is my Irish soda bread so dense?

When it comes to making no-yeast bread, it’s important to avoid over-kneading the dough as it can result in a hard and dense texture. Remember, the softer the crumb, the less kneading required. Another crucial step is scoring the bread, which guarantees that the center is perfectly baked.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, I strongly urge you to give this Real Irish Soda Bread Recipe a try. It’s easy-to-follow, packed with nutrient-dense ingredients like oatmeal and currants and best of all: it’s traditional Irish soda bread at its finest.

By using essential ingredients like buttermilk and baking soda, this recipe is sure to impress your taste buds with its slightly tangy yet slightly sweet flavor.

As a chef specializing in British cuisine, I can attest to the fact that there’s nothing quite like a freshly baked loaf of homemade Irish soda bread. The aromas infuse the air with delightfully rich scents of freshly baked bread, making the whole house smell amazing.

Whether you’re looking for a delicious breakfast or something to bring to your next potluck, this Irish soda bread recipe will be a hit!

So go ahead, grab your baking gear and get started on creating your very own classic Irish soda bread. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed!

Real Irish Soda Bread

Real Irish Soda Bread Recipe

I have never found an Irish Soda Bread recipe (or commericially available loaf) that can hold a candle to this recipe. It is simple to make and you can also mix the dry ingredients, add a hang-tag listing the wet ingredients and baking instructions and you have an outrageously good gift. This is an absolutely authentic Irish recipe, and if you have never had a Soda Bread with fruit or caraway, it is probably due to the baker's preference to omit it, cost cutting measures or the way in which this recipe is prepared in a few regions of the country. Note: If you don't like caraway seeds, currants or raisins, don't add them. And don't overmix this dough. I blend wet and dry ingredients with a large spooon only until incorporated. Also, if like Pretty111, you provide a low-star review because you THINK the recipe isn't traditional, don't bother. This recipe is not listed as "traditional", just delicious. I think that if you do not try a recipe, you have some nerve giving it a low-star review. It is just unfair.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Irish
Keyword < 4 Hours, Breads, European, For Large Groups, Healthy, Quick Breads, St. Patrick's Day
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Servings 1 tasty loaf
Calories 161kcal


  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 pinch cream of tartar
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream or 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon caraway seed (I think they are a must) (optional)
  • 1/2-3/4 cup currants or 1/2-3/4 cup raisins
  • 1 tablespoon uncooked oatmeal


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees farenheit.
  • Butter and flour a pie plate or round cake pan.
  • Sprinkle uncooked oats on the bottom of the pan.
  • Combine dry ingredients and currants.
  • Mix melted butter, eggs and then buttermilk and sour cream.
  • Stir in dry ingredients only until incorporated.
  • Put dough into a prepared pie pan, in a mound with a rounded top.
  • Cut an X in the top of the loaf.
  • Bake for 50 minutes.


Serving: 61g | Calories: 161kcal | Carbohydrates: 24.7g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 5.2g | Saturated Fat: 2.8g | Cholesterol: 34.9mg | Sodium: 222mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6.3g

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