Irish Soda Bread Recipe – How To Make Bread

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Irish soda bread recipe is an easy homemade bread. This is a traditional Irish food, as for centuries families used to have whole wheat bread on the table. Do you want to know how to make bread? You will love to make this no yeast bread for St Patrick’s day or every day!

Irish soda bread is an easy homemade bread. This is a traditional Irish food, as for centuries families used to have whole wheat bread on the table. You will love to make this no yeast bread for St Patrick's day or every day! #irish #bread #stpatricksday

To my mind, this soda bread is great to serve with Irish food like Colcannon. This is one of bread recipes that should be in every family cookbook. Actually no bought product can substitute the smell of homemade bread! Moreover, it is such a quick and simple bread recipe that you need to try!

So if you are planning your St Patrick’s day food, this Irish soda bread recipe is perfect to serve aside or smear some green butter on top. Moreover, this bread can be served for breakfast with coffee or healthy Green smoothie.

Irish Soda Bread Recipe – How To Make Bread . Irish soda bread with cross and cranberries on a black board.

Ingredients in Irish soda bread recipe

The main ingredients you need to activate the dough are buttermilk and soda. You can also use kefir, but traditionally Irish brown bread is made with buttermilk. To my mind, buttermilk adds extra richness to the taste of bread.

Actually you can make buttermilk at home. Combine 1 cup of milk with a tablespoon of fresh lemon juice. Let it stand for 5 minutes and that’s it, you will have homemade buttermilk.

What’s more, you can incorporate a half cup of any dried fruits in the dough. You can use raisins, dried cranberries, or even pumpkin or caraway seeds!

By the way, be careful, when you add soda. Just level the teaspoon, because too much soda can ruin the taste and even color of the homemade bread.

Irish Soda Bread Recipe – How To Make Bread. Irish soda bread with buttter and cranberries on a black board. View from top. Light from the window.

The shape and decoration of Irish homemade bread

So traditionally, Irish soda bread recipe is made round shape and cooked in the oven on the baking tray with parchment paper. Ok, our grand grand ma’s didn’t have parchment paper, so they used old non stick trays. But I recommend to have some paper under the soda bread. Anyway, you can use a bread pan, too.

Moreover, Irish soda bread have a cross on the top. So the reason for that is that people believed it will let out devils and fairies. However, even if you don’t think it’s true, the cross will help slightly open the thickest part of the bread, allowing to cook it evenly through. Moreover, I decorated the cross with some dried cranberries, to make it more appealing, but it’s optional.

Also, to have a beautiful bread, don’t open the oven door before the end of cooking. Keep calm, drink coffee or tea (or wine, whatever, haha), your bread won’t burn. Of course, if you don’t forget about it…

Irish Soda Bread Recipe – How To Make Bread. Irish soda bread cut on a black board.

Whole wheat bread

The reason we have such a beautiful brown color of the soda bread is that whole wheat flour is used, combined with white flour. To make whole wheat or wholemeal flour, usually the whole grain is used and nothing lost during the grinding process. That is the reason of more textured, brownish flour. Moreover, whole wheat flour has more vitamins, minerals and protein. However this flour has a shorter life, so better store it in the fridge in in other cool place.

Yes, you can make the bread with whole wheat flour only. But mixing with half of of all-purpose flour delivers lighter texture and better rising.

How is Irish Soda Bread made?

Simply combine all the dry ingredients – whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, salt and baking soda. Incorporate soft butter, mixing with your fingers. Make a well in the center, pour buttermilk with eggs and combine until the dough forms. Gently knead the dough and make the bread round shape.

Cut the cross on the bread, add cranberries and brush with leftover buttermilk-egg mixture. Bake in the preheated oven for up to 50 minutes until nice color and wooden skewer comes out clean.

Check also our other bread recipes like Apple Cinnamon bread, Cauliflower flatbread, Pumpkin chocolate chip bread and Carrot cake recipe (Easter bread).

Irish soda bread is great to serve with Irish recipes like Colcannon and Irish Beef Stew.

 

5 from 3 votes
Irish soda bread with buttter and cranberries on a black board. View from top.
Irish soda bread recipe – How To Make Bread
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
50 mins
Total Time
1 hr
 

Irish soda bread recipe is an easy homemade bread. This is a traditional Irish food, as for centuries families used to have whole wheat bread on the table. Do you want to know how to make bread? You will love to make this no yeast bread for St Patrick's day or every day!

Course: Appetizer, Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine: Irish
Keyword: no yeast, st patricks day, sugar free, traditional, vegetarian, whole wheat
Servings: 8
Calories: 284 kcal
Author: Cooking Journey
Ingredients
  • 260 g whole wheat flour /9.2 oz
  • 260 g all-purpose flour /9.2 oz
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 30 g butter /1 oz
  • 1 egg
  • 400 ml buttermilk /1 and 2/3cup
  • 1 tbsp cranberries, dried
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 390 F / 200 C.

  2. Whisk buttermilk and egg until just combined.

  3. In a separate bowl, combine all dry ingredients, incorporate butter with your hands

  4. Incorporate butter with your hands into dry ingredients.

  5. Make a well in the center of flour mixture. Pour in buttermilk with egg (leave a half tbsp for later). Make the dough until just combined.

  6. Transfer the dough to the clean floured surface (use white flour). Dust the hands with white flour and knead slightly (don't overdo this!). The dough should be a little sticky. But if it is too sticky, add a little bit more flour.

  7. Make round shape of kneaded dough, transfer to the baking sheet, layered with parchment paper.

  8. Cut the cross on top of the dough. Insert dried cranberries in that cross. Brush the bread with leftover buttermilk-egg mixture.

  9. Bake 40-50 minutes until bread browned and inserted wooden skewer comes out clean.

Recipe Notes

Cut the bread when it is cold. Serve with butter.

You may also like:

Apple Cinnamon bread - Oatmeal bread
Cauliflower Recipe - Cauliflower Bread Recipe
Cauliflower breadsticks – Cauliflower cheese bread
Blackberry Ricotta Pizza - Vegetarian pizza
Pumpkin Pizza - Breakfast pizza recipe
Mozzarella Strawberry Pizza - Fresh Strawberry Recipes
Carrot cake recipe – Easter bread
Pumpkin chocolate chip bread
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12 thoughts on “Irish Soda Bread Recipe – How To Make Bread”

  1. I love the addition of cranberries here!I’ve been wanting to make irish soda bread for years, yet I always thought it was somehow too complicated, really glad I found this easy recipe, can’t wait to make it! Can I also check, is it possible to make it only with whole wheat flour?

    1. Oh, it is so easy, no yeast needed, so no time to wait for it to rise. And it is impossible to mess up! Yes, you can use only whole wheat flour. Traditionally it is made with 2 flours. 100 % whole wheat flour will give it a darker color. Also check the time of baking, it may be slightly different. Let me know how it goes!

  2. 5 stars
    My parents are Irish so I’ve had soda bread many many times and yours looks great. I never thought to ask about the reason for the cross on the top, but that’s hilarious that it’s to let out the devils and fairies. I love all the obscure Irish folklore.

    1. Hi Wendy!
      I haven’t tried to make this Irish soda bread recipe with gluten-free flour.
      You can experiment and substitute wheat flour with gluten-free flour that contains binder 1:1, but honestly I’m not 100% sure this will work.
      Let me know, if you decide to experiment and how it turns out!

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