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A close shot of a loaf of traditional Irish soda bread on a bread board.
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5 from 3 votes

Traditional Irish Soda Bread

Don't have time to make bread? Then whip up a traditional Irish soda bread instead.
This loaf, which is so quick and easy to make, is absolutely delicious straight out of the oven. And any leftovers make amazing toast.
Makes 1 loaf
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Breakfast, Side Dish
Cuisine: Irish
Keyword: irish soda bread, soda bread recipe, wholegrain soda bread recipe
Servings: 8
Calories: 280kcal
Author: Tania @ The Cook's Pyjamas (adapted from Elizabeth David)


  • 250 g (2 cups + 2 Tablespoons) wholemeal flour
  • 250 g (2 cups) white wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate soda (baking soda)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 400 ml (1 3/4 cups) buttermilk
  • Extra milk or buttermilk if required
  • Extra flour for dusting.


  • Preheat the oven to 200C (180C fan forced)
  • Line a baking tray with paper.
  • Sift the flours, bicarbonate soda and salt together into a large bowl.
  • Make a well in the middle of the flour.
  • Pour the buttermilk into the flour and mix together with a spatula to form a dough. You want the dough stiff enough to hold its shape, but not so stiff that it barely hangs together. If the mix appears to be too dry, add a small amount of extra milk to bring the dough together.
  • Transfer all of the dough to the centre of the baking tray.
  • Pat the dough into a high ball. 
  • Dust the top of the loaf with extra flour and slash a cross into the top.
  • Bake in the hot oven for 30 - 40 minutes until the loaf is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped on the base.
  • Eat straight away or allow to cool before serving.


A hot oven is crucial to ensure the loaf starts to rise as soon as it is placed in the oven. Make sure that the oven has come to temperature before adding the liquid to the dry ingredients.