This traditional recipe for Irish soda bread makes a fluffy, golden loaf that’s ready for your corned beef and cabbage dinner in under an hour.

Irish soda bread is delicious slathered with butter, or dunked into gravy, or crumbled into soup!

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What is Irish Soda Bread?

Irish soda bread originated in Ireland in the 1800s, when baking soda first emerged as a leavening agent. The dough is mixed and shaped into a round loaf, and then cut into wedges that are perfect for dunking or slathering with butter. Its texture and mild flavor might remind you of biscuits, or savory scones, although it is denser. Traditionally, soda bread was cooked in iron pots on an open hearth. Today you can get the same delicious, crusty texture and home baked flavor using a Dutch oven in the stove.

Irresistible Irish Soda Bread!

  • Irish soda bread bakes to a golden brown round loaf, that gives rustic homemade appeal to your table.
  • Quick and easy to make, this recipe delivers the heavenly aroma and flavor of homemade bread, but without the wait!
  • Wedges of soda bread make a delicious snack for your coffee break, especially when served with jam or strawberry butter.
flour , buttermilk , butter , baking soda , salt with labels to make Irish Soda Bread

Ingredients & Variations

Flour – For the best loft and moist crumb, use all purpose white flour. You can also use wheat flour or your favorite gluten free blend. The texture will be quite dense and less moist with whole wheat.

Buttermilk – Buttermilk is fermented, and will react with the baking soda to produce air bubbles and a fluffy, light texture! You can also use milk if that’s all you have.

No Buttermilk? Try this!

  • Stir 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar into 1 cup of milk and let it set for 5 minutes before using.
  • Use ¾ cup of sour cream or yogurt thinned with ¼ cup of milk or water.
  • Mix 1 ¾ tablespoons of cream of tartar in a cup of milk and let it set for 10 minutes before using.
  • Kefir (a fermented milk drink), is similar to buttermilk and can be used in the same volume.

Baking Soda – Check the expiration date. Although baking soda does not “spoil,” and can be used past it’s expiration date, it will loose some of its potency over time.

Butter – Use cold butter straight from the refrigerator, either salted or unsalted, and cut it into cubes before adding. You can also use shortening, but you might find the bread to be more bland than you’d like.

Variations – Add raisins or currents and a little sugar for a sweet, scone-like bread. For savory herbal tones add or top with poppy or caraway seeds, or add rosemary, dill, or thyme to the dough.

How to Make Irish Soda Bread

  1. Preheat oven to 450° and line a Dutch oven with parchment.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking and salt, as per recipe instructions below.
  3. Add cubes of cold butter and cut in with a fork or pastry blender until crumbly.
  4. Stir in the buttermilk a little at a time. Dough will be sticky and lumpy.
  5. Transfer to the Dutch oven and shape into a round ball, and score an “X” in the top.
  6. Cover and bake for 35 minutes. Then remove cover and bake another 10-12 minutes until golden brown.

Tips & Tricks

  • Irish soda bread is best when fresh, so plan to consume it within a day or two at most. To retain the crusty texture for a day, store it in a paper bag.
  • Use a long sheet of parchment to line the Dutch oven. Then you can just lift the loaf out of the hot oven without a struggle!
  • If you don’t have a Dutch oven, you can bake it in a parchment lined oven-safe pot or cast iron skillet with a foil cover.
sliced Best Irish Soda Bread Recipe

How to Serve Irish Soda Bread

This is the best bread for serving with a corned beef and cabbage dinner. Your family will also enjoy dredging wedges of Irish soda bread in gravy rich dishes, like beef stew, beef tips and gravy or Mississippi pot roast.

Turn your soda bread into a snack! Drizzle it with crème fraiche, or spread with strawberry rhubarb jam and don’t forget a steaming mug of London fog on the side!

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More Bread Recipes

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cooked Irish Soda Bread
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Best Irish Soda Bread Recipe

This Irish soda bread is the perfect side dish for soup or stew.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Author Candace


  • 3 cups flour can use whole wheat and/ or all purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ cup butter cold and cut into small pieces
  • 1 ⅓-1 ⅔ cups buttermilk cold


  • Preheat oven to 450F. Line a dutch oven* with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and baking soda. Add cold butter and cut butter into the flour using a pastry cutter or fork.
  • Add buttermilk slowly, mixing with a spatula or wooden spoon until it forms a soft dough, similar to a thick batter. Transfer dough onto the parchment paper and form it into a round shape. Score an X into the top of the dough using a bread lame or a sharp knife.
  • Cover and bake for 35 minutes. Remove the lid and bake for 10-12 more minutes, or until golden brown.
  • Serve with butter. This bread is best eaten fresh, or on the day it has been made.


  • *This can be baked on a baking tray or in a skillet. It will not rise as much as in a dutch oven.
  • Be sure to use baking soda that is fresh for best results.
  • Do not overmix the dough.
  • Keep Irish soda bread at room temperature for up to 2 days (but it’s best eaten warm and fresh!).
  • Freeze the loaf, or slices, wrapped in plastic wrap and then placed into zippered bags for up to 2 months.  
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Nutrition Information

Calories: 246 | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 661mg | Potassium: 106mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 243IU | Calcium: 55mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information does not include optional ingredients or garnish and is an estimate. It may change based on actual ingredients and cooking methods used.

Course Bread
Cuisine Irish

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About the author

I am a wife, mother of two, and professional accountant. I love fantastic food, and it is so often the center of our lives, from everyday dinner, to family gatherings, and special evenings at fabulous restaurants. I have always loved cooking and baking, with my mom and grandma, and now, with my daughter and son. I love trying new recipes while enjoying my favorites too. I’m so happy to share them with you.
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