Would you be interested if I told you that you could have a fresh, hot, homemade loaf of bread on your table in as little as 30 minutes? I bet you would, and we’re here to give you that bread. If you’re looking for a bread recipe that’s quick, easy and just about fool-proof, then this is the recipe for you. Ladies and gentlemen, we give you the traditional Irish Soda Bread, one of the simplest recipes we will ever share with you, but by far one of the best.
Irish soda bread is a quick bread. Instead of yeast, the bread uses baking soda as a leavening agent, which means that mixing it up is no-fuss and all the rising takes place in the oven. This process yields a hearty loaf with a fine crumb that is perfect for sopping up the juices from a roast or stew. (It also makes wonderful toast, French toast and is great for a hot sandwich once toasted.)
It’s the perfect addition to your recipe arsenal. You get to look like you’ve slaved at bread making all afternoon, but the bread will probably cook faster than the rest of your meal.
A bit of history:
- Soda bread wasn’t actually invented in Ireland, but since its introduction to Ireland in the late 1700’s or early 1800’s, the Irish have made this bread their own. The bread is nothing more than flour, buttermilk, baking soda and salt. (Buttermilk being the leftover liquid created when churning butter, and soda bread is most often served with the very same fresh butter).
- This bread is so beloved that there are many variations, including boxty bread, and brown soda bread with molasses. Some variations add currants, raisins or sultanas (golden raisins). We prefer the traditional plain version for meals though.
- The cross cut into the top of the bread both to help it rise and, according to Irish folklore, either to ward off evil or to let the Faeries out.
As a final note, this bread is a large part of our family’s heritage. We are both descendants of the early irish-Americans and “Sody-bread” is a tradition on both sides of our family. We’re happy to share that tradition with you and we’re sure that your family will enjoy it.
Is soda bread a tradition in your family? If so, let us know in the comments!
Traditional Irish Soda Bread
Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 246Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 2mgSodium: 525mgCarbohydrates: 46gFiber: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 8g
What I would have done differently had I thought of it at the time:
Not a thing. this is a family tradition.
Links to other recipes like this:
- Irish Soda Bread Scones, from Smitten Kitchen
- Irish Cheddar and Bacon Soda Bread, A Texan twist on a classic from Lisa Fain, the Homesick Texan
- Irish Soda Bread (with raisins), from Elise at Simply Recipes
This looks so good! My last try at soda bread wasn’t so successful. Maybe this time, with this recipe!
Eating it now warm from oven. Fantastic!! Warm and just perfect. Great recipe!!!!!!
So glad it worked well for you!
Oh, you didn’t add buttermilk to the list of ingredients. How much is needed?
Thanks for noticing. It’s 1 1/3 cups. Recipe fixed!
Ooh this is the first time I’ve heard of soda bread but I’m so keen to try this quick and easy bread. Love the way it looks too!
Your comment to Ducky said 1 1/3 cups buttermilk, but the recipe says 1 3/4 cups buttermilk. Which?
Ugh. This is what I get for trying to write recipes with a cold! It’s 1 3/4 cups. Now, back to hot tea with lemon!
I make bread and never attempted an Irish Soda Bread. It must be moist with the buttermilk.
I am really looking forward to making this bread today. If I want to augment it with raisins etc do you have a quantity. You have me baking bread at the ripe old age of 58! Thanks!
Would love to send you a pic of the loaves I have just baked thanks to your easy and delicious recipes.
Hope this isn’t a dumb question, but why is flat important?
It’s a very valid question!
Flat is important for three reasons.
1. If you don’t flatten the round, it’s very possible that it will grow to immense proportions and ether split (which is bad), or worse, outgrow your oven space, either coming into contact with the oven walls or the heating element, which would ruin the bread.
2.It make it very difficult to tell when the bread is cooked completely, and makes over-browning a problem,
3.Flattening the round is what creates the unique shape of the loaf itself. leaving it as a ball would change that shape dramatically.
I love this bread but I had to adjust it for my allergies. So instead of the buttermilk I use 2 Tbsps of lemon juice (allergic to vinegars) putting that in the measuring cup first then adding water until I get 1 3/4 cup liquid.. I originally made it in the round loaf but now I line a bread pan with parchment paper and cook it a few minutes extra. It comes our like regular shaped bread and is wonderful! My daughter is going to try it with GF flours to see if she can get some bread she likes. Thanks for this recipe!
Quick and easy … thanks!