Happy St. Patrick’s Day – Traditional Soda Bread Recipes

Soda Bread – Jean Grainger – author

1 lb of course brown flour (the courser the better)
1/2 Lb of white flour (either plain or self-raising – I use whatever I have)
1/4 cup of porridge (any oats will do, and this too is optional )
1 teaspoon of bread soda
1 tablespoon of treacle (molasses) but this is optional, you could use a tablespoon of brown sugar or leave it out altogether – up to you.
2 eggs
Pinch of salt

Buttermilk (roughly half a pint but depending on your flour you might need a little more – the mixture should be wet but not sticky – you don’t knead it or anything like that.

Ok – so mix together the flours, bread soda, salt and porridge.
Add the eggs, sugar or treacle, and buttermilk
Stir the whole lot together, that’s it.

Either grease your loaf tin (or buy those baking paper liners), or flour your baking tray for a round flat loaf.

Empty the mixture into the tin, smooth it out on top with a wet spoon. It will raise a little but not as much as yeast bread.

You can add a few seeds on top if you like.

Pop in the oven at 180′ Centigrade 360′ (I think – we use centigrade)

Bake for 35-40 minutes – when you turn it out you’ll know its done by knocking the base with your knuckles – it should sound hollow.

If you like it crusty just allow to cool on a wire rack, but if you prefer the crust softer, wrap in a damp tea-towel for 15 mins when it comes out.

Serve with real butter, jam, marmalade, cheese, whatever you like. You could use this recipe to make brown scones if you wish.

Grandma’s Irish Soda Bread

★★★★★4.8 from 162 reviews

  • Prep Time:10 minutes
  • Cook Time:45 minutes
  • Total Time:55 minutes
  • Yield:1 loaf

Irish Soda Bread is a quick bread that does not require any yeast. Instead, all of its leavening comes from baking soda and buttermilk. This Irish Soda Bread recipe is my grandmother’s and has been cherished in my family for years. It’s dense, yet soft and has the most incredible crusty exterior.


  • 1 and 3/4 cups (420ml) buttermilk*
  • 1 large egg (optional, see note)
  • 4 and 1/4 cups (515g) all-purpose flour(spoon & leveled), plus more for your hands and counter
  • 3 Tablespoons (38g) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 5 Tablespoons (70g) unsalted butter, cold and cubed*
  • optional:1 cup (150g) raisins


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C). There are options for the baking pan. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat, use a seasoned 10-12 inch cast iron skillet, or grease a 9-10 inch cake pan or pie dish. Set aside.
  2. Whisk the buttermilk and egg together. Set aside. Whisk the flour, granulated sugar, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl. Cut in the butter using a pastry cutter, a fork, or your fingers. Work the dough until into coarse crumbs, then stir in the raisins. Pour in the buttermilk/egg mixture. Gently fold the dough together until dough it is too stiff to stir. Pour crumbly dough onto a lightly floured work surface. With floured hands, work the dough into a ball as best you can, then knead for about 30 seconds or until all the flour is moistened. If the dough is too sticky, add a little more flour.
  3. Transfer the dough to the prepared skillet/pan. Using a very sharp knife, score an X into the top. Bake until the bread is golden brown and center appears cooked through, about 45 minutes. Loosely cover the bread with aluminum foil if you notice heavy browning on top. I usually place foil on top halfway through bake time.
  4. Remove from the oven and allow bread to cool for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack. Serve warm, at room temperature, or toasted with desired toppings/spreads.
  5. Cover and store leftover bread at room temperature for up to 2 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.


  1. Freezing Instructions:Baked and cooled bread freezes well up to 3 months. Freeze the whole loaf or individual slices. Thaw in the refrigerator or at room temperature, then reheat as desired.
  2. Baking Pan:There are options for the baking pan. You can use a lined large baking sheet (with or without a rim), a seasoned 10-12 inch cast iron skillet, or a greased or lined 9-10 inch cake pan or pie dish. I don’t recommend a loaf pan because the loaf may not bake evenly inside. This dough is best as a flatter loaf.
  3. Buttermilk:Using cold buttermilk is best. Buttermilk is key to the bread’s flavor, texture, and rise. The bread will not rise without it. If you don’t have any buttermilk on hand, you can make a homemade “DIY” version. Whole milk or 2% milk is best, though lower fat or nondairy milks work in a pinch. Add 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar to a liquid measuring cup. Add enough cold milk to make 1 and 3/4 cups. Whisk together, then let sit for 5 minutes before using in the recipe.
  4. Egg:1 egg adds richness and density. Feel free to skip it to make a slightly lighter loaf. No other changes necessary, simply leave out the egg.
  5. Cold Butter:The colder the butter, the less sticky the dough will be. Make sure it’s very cold, even frozen cubed butter is great.


2021 V Williams