Traditional Irish Soda Bread
Recipe type: Bread
Cuisine: Irish
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Irish Soda Bread is a hearty, delicious addition to the dinner table that is quick and easy to make. Here is how to make a traditional Irish Soda Bread.
  • 4 cups flour - all purpose or pastry flour (or 3 cups all purpose and 1 cup whole wheat)
  • 2 cups buttermilk (or milked soured with 2 Tbsp lemon juice or vinegar)
  • 1½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • 2 Tbsp sugar (optional and not part of a traditional Irish Soda Bread)
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F. If you are using a baking stone, place on center rack to heat with oven.
  2. If you do not have buttermilk and you will need to sour milk, add two tablespoons of vinegar or lemon juice to just under two cups of milk and allow to sit for five minutes, while you prepare the dry ingredients.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt (and sugar if you want to sweeten your bread)
  4. Form a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in 1¾ cup of buttermilk or soured milk. (You may not need all two cups of milk, depending on your flour.)
  5. Stir in buttermilk with a fork or spoon to create a sticky dough.
  6. When the dough comes together, turn dough onto a floured surface and knead lightly - about three or four times.
  7. Form a large ball and cut into two halves if you prefer smaller loaves.
  8. Shape the loaves into round balls, slightly flattening the tops.
  9. With a sharp knife, cut a deep cross into the top of your loaves.
  10. Place loaf or loaves on parchment lined baking sheet, or heated baking stone, or place large loaf in an oiled cast-iron pot or skillet.
  11. Brush with buttermilk (and melted butter if you prefer.)
  12. For a more traditional baking method, cover your cast iron pot or baking dish with a lid (another pan can serve as a lid to simulate the bastible pot) for the first 30 minutes and then remove for the last 15 minutes of baking time.
  13. If you are making two smaller loaves, you will want to reduce your total baking time to about 35 minutes.
  14. If you are not using a lid or foil for the first part of baking, after 25 or 30 minutes, check if your bread is getting two brown. You will probably want to tent with aluminum foil at that point.
  15. Bread is ready when the center X looks baked through and a toothpick comes out clean. As well, you can tap the bottom of the loaf and it should sound hollow.
  16. Cover with a tea towel, moistened with sprinkles of water, and allow to cool for at least ten minutes before breaking into your loaves.
  17. Serve warm with salted butter and honey or whatever else your heart desires.
Recipe by 5 Minutes for Mom at