Irish Soda Bread is a quick bread made with baking soda instead of yeast! No waiting for the dough to rise! Perfect smeared with butter or jam, and even better for dipping in soup or stew!
You know how some dinners just NEED bread to go alongside them.
Soup, stew, salad, roast…the list goes on and on because let’s be real – bread makes every meal better. 😉
Well, sometimes you just don’t have any packaged dinner rolls laying around and you don’t have any tubes of dough in the fridge and you don’t have time for yeast to rise. This is when Irish soda bread comes in handy.
Although, let me be perfectly honest with you: Irish soda bread is not only for when you’re short on time or as a ‘last resort.’ Irish soda bread should often be your first choice because it is DELICIOUS. And EASY. And did I mention DELICIOUS?
We’re obsessed in this house.
What is Irish Soda Bread?
Soda bread originated in Ireland and remains a popular recipe there today! It is a type of quick bread that is leavened with baking soda instead of yeast. It uses simple ingredients, most of which you likely already have.
The buttermilk is an important addition that reacts with the baking soda to help the bread rise, and it’s useful for ensuring the bread does not dry out!
This bread reminds us a bit of a biscuit recipe – just a giant, buttery biscuit!
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For the bread:
Dry Ingredients – You may have most if not all the ingredients already for this recipe. You’ll need all-purpose flour, white sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Wet Ingredients – You’ll also need softened butter, an egg, and some buttermilk. No buttermilk? Keep reading below for how to make your own at home – so easy!
Butter & Buttermilk – You’ll mix these two ingredients together to prepare a baste for the bread. The buttermilk helps to keep the dense bread from drying out so it is still moist and crumbly, plus it improves flavor and texture!
What We Love About This Recipe:
- Simple Ingredients: Aside from the buttermilk there is a good chance you’ve got all the ingredients for this bread. Plus, they’re cheap and budget friendly!
- Texture: This is a dense bread with a nice crust, sturdy enough for dunking in a bowl of soup! Also delicious with a thick spread of butter or jam!
- No Rise Time: I love working with yeast, but don’t always have time to let dough rise. This recipe doesn’t require a rise time so it really cuts down on time!
How to Make Irish Soda Bread:
Mix: This traditional Irish soda bread recipe uses basic (and cheap!) ingredients: flour, baking soda, baking powder, buttermilk, butter, and egg.
There’s really not much to this recipe. You just toss everything in a bowl, all at once, and you mix.
If you’re using a stand mixer, the dough hook is perfect here. If you’re doing this by hand, get in there and knead the dough.
Shape the dough into a ball and pop it on a baking sheet.
You can customize this Irish soda bread with all kinds of different mix-in ingredients! Popular choices include raisins, currants, and chopped nuts. Feel free to make this recipe your own!
Baste: Brush the outside with a mix of melted butter and buttermilk. I brush this mixture on the outside every 15 minutes during cooking.
Bake: The bread takes about 1 hour in the oven. We serve this warm with loads of butter smeared on top. My crockpot apple butter is great on there too!
How to Make Irish Soda Bread without Buttermilk:
Buttermilk plays an important role in Irish soda bread. The baking soda reacts with the acidity of the buttermilk to cause the bread to rise.
If you don’t have buttermilk, you may substitute fresh milk with 1 tablespoon of white distilled vinegar added to sour the milk. Just add the vinegar to the milk and let set for 5 minutes before adding to your flour. Easy peasy!
Store your Irish soda bread recipe on the counter in an airtight container for 2-3 days. We love to use a bread bag to keep our bread fresh.
Yes, it really is! This is an old recipe using the most basic of ingredients because they’re cheap and easily found.
You can slice the loaf into traditional slices or you can cut it into wedges.
Serve warm with plenty of butter or marmalade. This bread is also great for dunking in soup. It’s a dense, hearty bread that holds up well. It’s perfect at breakfast with a cup of hot tea.
You can keep this stored in an airtight bag or container just like you would any other bread, at room temperature, for about 2 to 3 days.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH IRISH SODA BREAD:
Irish Soda Bread
For the bread
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup white sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup butter softened
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup butter melted
- 1/4 cup buttermilk
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees and spray a large cookie sheet with nonstick spray.
- Add the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to a mixing bowl and stir to combine.
- Add the buttermilk, softened butter, and egg to the mixture and mix well using an electric mixer until a soft dough forms.
- Use your hands to knead the dough lightly. Shape into a large ball and flatten slightly.
- Place the dough on the prepared baking sheet and use a sharp knife to cut an ‘X’ into the top of the loaf.
- Stir together the melted butter and buttermilk and brush over the outside of the loaf.
- Bake in a hot oven for 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean.
- Brush the loaf with the buttermilk mixture every 15 minutes during baking.