11 March 2013

Bake of the Week: Irish Soda Bread

I'd hazard a guess that most Irish families have a soda bread recipe passed down through generations that's been tried, tested and loved for years upon years. Not only is it great comfort food it's also a quick and easy bread recipe - perfect if you've never made bread before or don't have the patience to wait for the bread to prove several times before you can bake, cool and eat!

A few weeks ago I decided to give our old soda bread recipe a go, it's probably the most common recipe out there (no family twists or secrets sadly!) and the results are divine.

You will need

  • One large mixing bowl
  • A large baking tray
  • A damp tea towel (optional)


  • 650g plain white flour (for brown soda bread you can use wholemeal) 
  • 1 teaspoon of salt (levelled)
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate soda (levelled)
  • 400ml of buttermilk


1. Pre-heat your oven to 230 degrees.

2. Sieve your flour, salt and bicarbonate soda into a large mixing bowl and mix with a spoon to combine. 

3. Make a well in the flour mix and pour in 3/4 of your buttermilk and mix using a wooden spoon or your hands. Whichever you choose it is important not to over-mix the dough. The dough should be soft and springy, it if is too wet add more flour; if it is too dry add more buttermilk.

4. Once your dough is at the correct consistency turn it out onto a floured work top. Gently shape the dough but avoid kneading it.

5. When you have shaped your dough place it on a large baking tray and cut a cross in the top of the bread. There are numerous tales and stories surrounding why you should do this but the reason you shouldn't skip it is because it helps distribute heat throughout the bread.

6. Bake at 230 degrees for 20 minutes, after 20 minutes reduce the heat to 200 degrees and bake for a further 20 minutes. 

7. If you like bread with a crunchy crust then leave your soda bread to cool as it is on a wire rack. If you prefer a softer crust then wrap your bread in a dampened tea towel and leave until cooled. Soda breads wrapped in tea towels were traditionally wrapped in tea towels and left on window sills - if you'd like to get your traditional Irish baking on then feel free to do the same.

There are also modified soda bread recipes out there which include dried and fresh fruits as well as other additions, I personally haven't tried them as I like mine as it is but that doesn't mean you shouldn't experiment with yours and I'd love to know what you come up with if you do!

I'd love to know what you think if you try this, particularly if you haven't tried soda bread before, and as always, I love pictures of your baking!

Do you have any traditional family recipes? 

Vicky x


  1. Thanks for the recipe! I literally love soda bread- i haven't had it in ages this post reminded me what i've been missing out on. I really like it with nutella- it tastes like a more healthy cake to me haha x

    1. It's so simple to make too and homemade always beats shop bought :) I've never tried it with Nutella but I must now you've mentioned it! x

  2. woww, that looks so rich and yummy :D
    I've had bad experiences with baking but this looks simple enough haha


    1. Thanks Susie! It's super simple, good luck if you try it and let me know how you get on xx

  3. I've never tried soda bread before, just bookmarked this and hopefully I'll get the time to bake this next week! xx

    Lucy Loves To Blog

    1. Let me know how you get on :) xx


Thank you for your comments ♥ If you have any questions, feel free to ask me on Twitter @VickyAtBBB x

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