Traditional Irish Soda Bread

Irish Soda Bread is an easy four-ingredient bread recipe. You don’t need any yeast, and you don’t need to wait for the bread to proof. Mix up the dough, knead it a few times, and bake it. This is a great easy recipe to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.

Irish soda bread loaf with two pieces sliced with butter on top.

There are many Irish soda bread recipes, and this is one of the easiest. A traditional Irish soda bread should be easy to make because it’s actually a really simple bread.

The best part is that you don’t need to worry about yeast with this bread. It’s a quick bread recipe that uses baking soda to leaven the bread while it bakes. Some buttermilk activates the baking soda and also gives the bread a nice flavor and texture.

This is a great bread to serve alongside your favorite St. Patrick’s day dishes, but it’s not just for the holiday. The flavor and texture of the bread are great with soup, chili, stew, or just toast a slice and add some butter and jam.

Even though it’s not  yeast bread, the texture is similar. It’s hearty and sturdy – a great recipe to make when you want homemade bread but without the fuss.


  • All-purpose flour
  • Salt
  • Baking soda
  • Buttermilk

Recipe Instructions

Preheat oven to 425°F (218°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Sift the flour, salt, and baking soda into a large bowl. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add all but one tablespoon of buttermilk in the well.

dry ingedients mixed together in a bowl.

Mix the buttermilk and flour mixture with a spatula or with your hands. Once mixed, the dough should be soft and slightly sticky. It shouldn’t be wet.

irish soda bread dough in a bowl

Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead it a few times. Shape it into a loaf and place it on the prepared baking sheet.

Irish soda bread dough on a board

Use a knife to cut a cross on top of the loaf and then bake it for 25 to 30 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. When you tap on the bottom it should sound hollow – that’s when you know it’s done. 

Irish soda bread loaf before and after baking

Transfer the loaf to a wire rack to cool. You can slice and serve the bread warm or at room temperature.

Irish soda bread load on a black napkin with butter in a glass container


Can you freeze it?

Yes, you can freeze Irish soda bread. Allow the bread to cool completely and then wrap it in plastic wrap. Place it in a freezer bag and it will keep well for up to a month.

What’s the best way to store it?

You can store it wrapped in plastic wrap at room temperature. It will keep for two to three days.

What can you add to Irish soda bread?

Traditional Irish soda bread is plain, but you can add things to it. Try mixing in raisins or currants. I’ve also seen recipes with orange zest and caraway seeds. For a fun twist, try my chocolate nut Irish soda bread.

A slice of Irish soda bread with butter spread on top.

If you want an easy recipe to celebrate St. Patrick’s day or just a simple bread recipe to try, Irish soda bread is a great one. Enjoy!

More Easy Bread Recipes

Irish soda bread on a black napkin.

Traditional Irish Soda Bread

Irish Soda Bread is an easy 4-ingredient bread recipe. You don't need any yeast or wait for the bread to proof. Just mix, knead it a few times, and bake it.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Appetizer, Lunch, Main Course, Snack
Cuisine Irish
Servings 1 loaf
Calories 1210 kcal


  • 2⅓ cups +1 ½ tablespoons all purpose flour
  • teaspoons salt
  • teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 cup +2 tablespoons buttermilk


  • Preheat oven to 425 F (218C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl sift together the flour, salt and baking soda. Make a well in the middle and pour most of the buttermilk. (I poured almost all of the buttermilk into the bowl. I left out about 1 tablespoon.) Mix together with your hands or a spatula making sure that the dough is soft and slightly sticky, but not too wet.
  • Transfer the dough onto a lightly floured flat surface and gently knead a few times. Shape the dough into a loaf, place it on the baking sheet and cut a cross on top of it with a knife.
  • Bake in the oven for about 25-30 minutes or until golden in colour and it sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool, serve warm or at room temperature. Enjoy!


You can freeze Irish soda bread. Allow the bread to cool completely and then wrap it in plastic wrap. Place it in a freezer bag and it will keep well for up to a month.
You can store Irish soda bread at room temperature by wrapping it in plastic wrap. It will keep for two to three days.


Calories: 1210kcalCarbohydrates: 234gProtein: 38gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 26mgSodium: 2538mgPotassium: 636mgFiber: 8gSugar: 13gVitamin A: 396IUCalcium: 321mgIron: 14mg
Keyword irish soda bread, quick bread, soda bread
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


  1. Hi Rossemary, lovely Irish soda bread crust only. I don’t know what happened but the inside if the bread did not bake. Very gluey. Crust was crisp but delicious. Any suggestion on what I did wrong. I did not really kneed the dough, it seemed to come together into a ball nicely so I just perfected it and placed it on the baking sheet. Baked at 450 -15min and then 400-25min. Would it be the lack of not enough kkneeding or the temperature change, Help please, as I would like to try again. ALSO, I HAD TO USE THE 1-1 GLUTEN FREE FLOUR RATIO, would this be the problem? I use this flour all the time to make cakes for my gluten gree family members and never had a problem, Thanks Rosemary. I love your sight and have made many of your recipes. Italian cookies especially. Honey

    1. Hi Honey, sorry it didn’t work, try baking at 400F for 30-35 minutes, with no temperature change. Measure the inside with a thermometer, if it 200-205F it’s done. If it starts to brown too much and it’s still not done, cover it with foil and continue baking.I don’t think the gluten free flour should make a difference. I hope this helps. Let me know.

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