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Irish Soda Bread

Irish Soda Bread is a yeast free bread ready in 45 minutes. The perfect addition to any delicious Soup or Stew.

My family loves to eat this bread with a Heart Beef Stew or one of our favourite Chickpea Soups.

irish soda bread and 2 slices


Last Fall my eldest daughter, my sister and I went on a 3 day visit to Dublin Ireland. I have always wanted to go and discover a part of my roots.

Yes it as Green as they say! And who can resist that accent? Even before we arrived, my daughter was raving about Irish Soda Bread and how good it was and we just had to try it.

So try it we did. I ordered a traditional Irish Stew and naturally it was served with a couple of slices of Irish Soda Bread.

Rock of Cashel – Ireland

Yup, she was right, so good, I could have made a meal just out of the bread! I knew there were only a few ingredients, 5 ingredients to be exact in this no yeast Bread.

So after searching a bit on line I discovered a simple and easy recipe by non other than Gordon Ramsay. One of the main ingredients is Buttermilk, and since there is no buttermilk available in Italy, I would have to make my own.

Irish Soda Bread how to make mixing the dough and ready to bake
Mixing the Dough and Ready to bake

How to Make a Substitute for Buttermilk

When you buy store bought buttermilk you will notice how thick it is, your Homemade Substitute will not be that thick, although it will work just as well.

In order to make the homemade as thick as possible you can either use whole milk or what I did was, I used 2% milk and a couple of tablespoons of whole cream.

Irish soda bread baked on a white paper

How to Store Irish Soda Bread

This is a smaller loaf so it pretty well gets eaten up in one sitting between 3-4 people. If you do have left overs be sure to wrap the extra bread in plastic and place in an airtight bag. It should keep for up to 3 or 4 days.

Irish Soda Bread can also be frozen, be sure to wrap in plastic and again place in an airtight bag, it will keep in the freezer for at least 2-3 months.

irish beer draft and guinness on a table

You can’t go to Ireland with a tour and sample at the Guinness Brewery

up close Irish Soda Bread

How to eat it

I love to serve this bread with a Hearty Sausage Stew or this delicious 2 Bean Soup, or you could even toast it and eat it for breakfast with a little butter and jam.

up close 2 slices of Irish soda bread

How to make the Best Irish Soda Bread

  • Start by making sure your Baking soda is active. Baking soda usually lasts about 9 – 12 months although some recommend changing after 6 months.
  • Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt.
  • Add the buttermilk and mix with a fork.
  • Then move the mixture to a lightly floured surface, knead for about 30 seconds and form into a round loaf.
  • Place on a lightly greased pizza or cookie pan and bake.
  • Eat it warm and fresh out of the oven!

How to tell if Baking Soda is still Active

Mix half a cup of hot water with 1 teaspoon of baking powder, if it bubbles it’s good, if not, throw it out and buy a new box!

How to Tell when the Bread is done

Remove the bread from the oven, turn it over and tap it on the bottom, if you hear a hollow sound it’s done.

I hope you enjoy this Irish Soda Bread as much as we did! Buon Appetito.

Irish soda bread and 2 slices on a white board
irish soda bread and 2 slices

Irish Soda Bread

Rosemary Molloy
Irish Soda Bread is a yeast free bread ready in 45 minutes. The perfect addition to a delicious Soup or Stew.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Bread and Pizza, Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine Irish
Servings 1 loaf
Calories 1077 kcal


  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 13 tablespoons buttermilk* (¾ cup + 1 tablespoon)


  • Pre-heat oven to 375F (190C). Lightly grease a small cookie sheet.
  • In a large bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt, then add the buttermilk and mix together with a fork until almost combined.
  • Move the dough to a lightly floured flat surface and knead for 30 seconds only, form into an oval loaf (about 8 inches / 20 cm wide) place on prepared cookie sheet. And score the loaf with a deep cross with a serrated knife.
  • Bake for approximately 30-40 minutes or until bread is done. Serve warm. Enjoy!


*To make a homemade buttermilk substitute – place 13 tablespoons of whole milk in a bowl add 1 tablespoon of white vinegar let stand 10-15 minutes then stir to combine. Or place 11-12 tablespoons of 2% milk and add 1-2 tablespoons of whole or whipping cream. Stir to combine then add the 1 tablespoon of vinegar.


Calories: 1077kcal | Carbohydrates: 212g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 21mg | Sodium: 1920mg | Potassium: 531mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 22g | Vitamin A: 322IU | Calcium: 263mg | Iron: 12mg
Did You Make This Recipe?Please leave a comment below or pin it to your Pinterest account!


  1. Just a note, when you change the recipe amount, the note you’ve added about 3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon doesn’t change. So it lists both 13 tbsp and 39 tbsp as that amount. I, fortunately caught myself, but that could be quite confusing.

  2. 5 stars
    I grease a mixing bowl …..pop the dough in and cook it that way……doing it that way for the past 50 years!
    Cooking time depends upon the size of the bowl! So good cut in thick pieces ..toasted or not…smothered with butter….with tea or a cup of coffee!

  3. 5 stars
    Easy and delicious! I have stopped buying loaves of bread at the store. I normally double this recipe, serve it with a family meal then use the leftovers for toast for the rest of the week.

  4. 4 stars
    This was easy and has a nice crunchy crust, just maybe a little too dense. Great warm with butter , cinnamon and sugar.

    1. Hi Barbara yes you can, add them when the dough is almost combined and gently knead it all together, I wouldn’t add too many maybe 1/4 cup to start. Let me know how it goes.

  5. 3 stars
    Recipe seems easy enough so I’m not sure what I did wrong but it came out quite doughy on the inside (almost gluey) and very hard on the outside. I made buttermilk using milk and lemon juice (I used 2% lactose free milk). Everything else I followed exactly. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

      1. Rise was okay, the texture was just off. I checked the baking soda as indicated and it bubbled. The oven was also set to 375F. I can’t post a picture here but I posted one on the Pinterest pin, maybe visualizing it will help the troubleshooting? Thank you so much for all your help!

      2. Hi AP it actually looks pretty good, soda bread doesn’t have a great shape it kind of a rustic bread. If you find it didn’t cook enough inside, you could cover the top with foil and continue baking for another 5-10 minutes. Hope that helps.

  6. 4 stars
    Scrumptious. I am lockdown in Lima, Peru and don’t even know if they have buttermilk here, so I substituted soy milk and lime juice to make buttermilk. Same measure of milk with 1/3 tsp lime juice; mix and leave for at least 5 minutes. When it curdles, mix angling and use as substitute for buttermilk.

  7. For those of us who can’t seem to keep count before getting distracted and losing count, 13 tbsp is equal to 3/4 cup plus 1 tbsp! I about drove myself crazy trying to remember how many I had already counted 🤣

  8. 5 stars
    Just put this bread in the oven, can’t wait to see how it comes out. Nothing beats homemade fresh bread!!! Thanks for the recipe 🙂

  9. 5 stars
    This is perfect timing. I was back in Dublin last week, grabbing my fill of soda bread and trying to explain to the Sicilian other half, via WhatsApp, why its the best bread in the world. I promised to find a recipe so `I could make it for him, and then, hey presto – yours pops up! Thank you

    1. Hi Matt, thanks so glad to help and I agree, I couldn’t enough of it either. I loved Ireland too. Have a great Sunday.

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