This simple Sourdough Soda Bread recipe yields foolproof results every time!
Soda bread is a quick, homemade, artisan bread that has its roots in a classic Irish-style of bread. Sourdough soda bread has been up-leveled to a healthy recipe using a starter with whole wheat flour and no added yeast. It’s also a no-knead process that’s so easy, even beginner bread makers will have success!
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What We Love About This Recipe
We love all kinds of sourdough discard bread recipes, some of them ‘fed’ and ‘unfed.’ Make this basic recipe by adding baking soda instead of yeast as the rising agent because it provides a dense, chewy texture, and a crusty exterior. Studded with tasty whole seeds, it’s got that natural look and taste! It’s not that easy to find a quick sourdough bread recipe that’s ready in under an hour! Most sourdough recipes require specific temperatures and multiple rising steps, but our sourdough Irish soda bread will be the easiest sourdough loaf you’ve ever baked!
Sourdough Bread Ingredients
Our rustic sourdough bread recipe has the perfect combination of ingredients!
GRAINS & DISCARD Multigrain, whole wheat, and white flour, plus sourdough starter also known as sourdough discard, combine to create a dense and chewy loaf.
NUTS & SEEDS Add a handful of nuts and seeds of your choice. We suggest pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds) sunflower seeds, healthy hemp hearts, chia seeds, sesame seeds, flax seeds, poppy seeds, or any combination of the above. Add some chopped nuts too, if desired!
SWEETENER Just the right touch of milk and honey are the perfect natural sweeteners. Don’t skip out on sweetener, it’s really necessary for the rising process.
OTHER TASTY ADD-INS For soda bread with sourdough variations, feel free to add different nuts, seeds, or berries (pecans and chia? Walnuts and dried cranberries?). Or, omit the seeds entirely and season the bread with freshly chopped rosemary and parmesan cheese.
Are Soda Bread and Sourdough Bread the Same Thing?
- No. Although both breads contain lactic acid, sourdough has it in the starter, and soda bread has it in the added milk. Lactic acid activates with the baking soda to make the bread rise without using added yeast. For texture, sourdough bread is lighter and soda bread is more like a biscuit. Sourdough starter will give the loaf a chewier texture.
- It’s not quite accurate to say that our sourdough soda bread has “no yeast.” Sourdough starter has naturally occurring yeast that has been activated through the fermentation process. It takes a long time for a loaf to rise using just starter though, so we kept all the flavor and chewiness of sourdough starter, while allowing the baking soda to do the heavy lifting. It’s a fast loaf that still has that artisanal crusty flavor and texture. It’s a match made in bread heaven!
How to Bake Sourdough Irish Soda Bread
We’ll show you how easy sourdough bread with a starter is to make!
- Whisk together both flours, the seeds, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.
- In a small bowl, mix the sourdough starter, the milk, oil, and honey.
- Make a well in the middle of the bowl with the flour mixture in it and pour in the sourdough mixture. Gently mix the dough with your hands, adding milk if it’s too dry.
Shaping the Dough
- Divide the dough into two halves, and shape each half into a ball.
- Place each half on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Lightly flatten each ball of dough.
How to Score
- The best way to score sourdough soda bread is by taking a sharp knife and cutting a half-inch deep in an x-fashion on both pieces. Take the cut all the way to the edge of the bread. This makes it easier to break apart once it’s ready to enjoy.
- Bake soda bread for 30 to 40 minutes or until the tops are golden brown. Brush the tops with melted butter (optional) and let them cool before slicing or tearing into chunks.
What to Eat With Sourdough Bread
Even though our whole wheat sourdough bread recipe stands on its own as a healthy, filling snack, we like to pair it with some deliciously sweet honey butter or strawberry freezer jam , some Instant Pot Yogurt, some savory hummus, or dip into some tasty chili with stew meat or the creamy sauce in this chicken broccoli bake.
How Long Can You Store and Freeze Sourdough Soda Bread?
Sourdough soda bread will dry out quickly so we recommend it stay tightly wrapped in plastic wrap and kept at room temperature. It will keep about 3 days.
Freeze this sourdough Irish soda bread by wrapping it tightly, write the date on the outside and it can be frozen for up to 2 months.
PRO TIP: If the bread dries out too quickly, cut into cubes, toss with olive oil and some Italian Dressing Mix. Spread them on a baking sheet and bake at 250°F until they are crispy and golden brown. These homemade croutons are perfect for soups or salads!
Other Easy Recipes!
- Basic Whole Wheat Bread Recipe – Delicious!
- No Knead Bread – so easy.
- Pumpkin Cornbread Muffins – excellent recipe
- Pumpkin Cranberry Bread – deliciously different.
- Ricotta Toast – use Sourdough Soda Bread for this!
Sourdough Soda Bread
- 2 ½ cups whole wheat flour
- 1 ¼ cups flour
- ½ cups mixed seeds *sunflower, pepitas, flax seeds, chia seeds, sesame seeds, poppyseeds
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup sourdough starter 227 grams, fed or discard
- ¾ cup milk
- ¼ cup oil
- 3 Tablespoons honey
- 1 Tablespoon butter melted, optional
- seeds for the top of the bread, optional
- Preheat oven to 400˚F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flours, seeds, baking soda, and salt.
- In a small bowl, whisk together sourdough starter, milk oil, and honey.
- Add sourdough mixture to the flour mixture and stir, then knead with your hands. If the dough doesn’t stick together, add one Tablespoon of milk at a time until it sticks.
- Divide the dough in half and shape each half into a ball. Place on the parchment lined baking tray and press to flatten slightly. Cut a ½ inch deep X into the dough using a sharp knife. Sprinkle with additional seeds if desired.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes, until golden brown. A toothpick inserted into the bread should come out clean.
- Remove from the oven and brush with melted butter if desired (recommended!). Cool before slicing or tearing into chunks.
Can freeze dough for later. Freeze after shaping. Thaw in the fridge overnight and remove from the fridge while preheating the oven.
To freeze after baking, thaw at room temperature and warm in a 350F oven for 5-10 minutes.
Nutrition information does not include optional ingredients or garnish and is an estimate. It may change based on actual ingredients and cooking methods used.
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This is a very delicious healthy loaf. We are finishing the second loaf tonight with our black eyed peas. I will make more soon. This is the best Irish Soda bread I have ever made, and I have made many loafs.
That’s wonderful to hear Rita! Happy New Year!