Traditional Irish Soda Bread

Traditional Irish Soda Bread is quick to make, 4 ingredients, no yeast needed, no kneading required. What could be easier?

If you can stir you can make this bread! I love Irish Soda Bread! I tend to think of it for breakfast with butter and jam but it is actually very neutral so you can use it wherever you like.

It is dense like a rustic yeast bread with a crispy crust. It makes great sandwich bread for a hearty sandwich, goes well with soups and stews and even is great for dips! It is completely neutral, dense and chewy!

A round crusty loaf of traditional Irish Soda Bread

This recipe makes a small loaf, about 8 thin but dense and chewy slices. If you want a more traditional size loaf -double the recipe.

In these days of panic buying I am finding yeast a bit hit or miss to source. Luck would have it the jar I keep in the fridge was getting low but I did not get it replenished before the panic buying set in.

I now hope that my shopping trip scores at least a few packets.

Enter Irish Soda Bread – no yeast require! Baking soda, which most of us have on hand in ample quantities will do the work of the yeast.

And – it is fast, no kneading or rising! you just stir all the ingredients together and bake!

The one tricky part might be the buttermilk. But – don’t stop reading! You can make your own buttermilk in 10 minutes by acidifying regular milk with white vinegar or lemon juice. I have written the recipe as though you are going to make your buttermilk. I prefer vinegar as the acid because I find the lemon juice can leave a bit of flavour. That might ok for muffins or other quick breads but I don’t want lemon in my soda bread.

In fact- I almost never buy buttermilk. Recipes usually on need 1 cup or so. I would have to be more organized to make several recipes for breads, pancakes, loaves or soups to use up the entire quart.

So I make my own. Check out How to Make Buttermilk in 10 minutes!

Cup of milk with vinegar used to make buttermilk

So here is a good way not to let the empty shelves or hit and miss ingredients stop you from enjoying your carbs!

I only wanted to make a small loaf because I am trying to stretch my flour until I know I have more in the pantry. I want to make Naan and maybe English muffins as well.

Toasted Irish Soda Bread slices with orange marmalade
Toasted Irish Soda Bread with Whiskey Orange Marmalade

So if you are feeding a lot of people or love soda bread you can easily double this recipe, which will make a more traditional loaf size.

loaf of Irish Soda Bread cut in half

Traditional Irish Soda Bread

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Course: Bread
Cuisine: Irish
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 27 minutes
Total Time: 52 minutes
Servings: 1 6" loaf


  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 13 Tbsps milk (equals 3/4 cup +1 Tbsp or milk)
  • 1 Tbsp white vinegar or lemon juice


  • Grease and coat a 6" round baking dish with flour. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  • Mix milk and vinegar in a cup and allow to sit at room temperature for 10 minutes. It will thicken slightly and take on a slightly curdled appearance.
  • Mix flour, salt and baking soda in a bowl. Stir in the milk mixture. It will be a shaggy dough.
  • Use your hands to turn the dough into a ball. Dough will still be shaggy but no noticeable dry flour. Shape into a disc shape.
  • Transfer disc to your baking dish. Score a deep X in the crown of the dough disc. Bake 25 minutes covered. Remove cover and bake a further 10 minutes.
  • Allow to cool. Slice and serve.
  • Note: This recipe makes a small loaf. To double for a more traditional size loaf, double the ingredients and prepare an 8" round oven dish. Bake 25-30 minutes covered and 10 minutes more uncovered.
Traditional Irish Soda Bread

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