Whole-Wheat Irish Soda Bread

Whole-Wheat Irish Soda Bread

25 Reviews
From: EatingWell Magazine, April/May 2005

Soda breads are hearty Irish staples—wholemeal flour with large flakes of bran and wheat germ, or white flour or a mixture leavened with baking soda and moistened with buttermilk. The acid in the buttermilk reacts with the baking soda, which is an alkali, creating bubbles of carbon dioxide which rise the bread. Soda breads have the heft of a yeast bread but are made in minutes and the dough can be shaped into scones or a round loaf, depending on the occasion. Originally it would have been baked in a bastible (pot oven) over the open fire.

Ingredients 12 servings

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Original recipe yields 12 servings
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  • 2 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2¼ cups buttermilk


  • Active

  • Ready In

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray and sprinkle with a little flour.
  2. Whisk whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and pour in buttermilk. Using one hand, stir in full circles (starting in the center of the bowl working toward the outside of the bowl) until all the flour is incorporated. The dough should be soft but not too wet and sticky. When it all comes together, in a matter of seconds, turn it out onto a well-floured surface. Clean dough off your hand.
  3. Pat and roll the dough gently with floury hands, just enough to tidy it up and give it a round shape. Flip over and flatten slightly to about 2 inches. Transfer the loaf to the prepared baking sheet. Mark with a deep cross using a serrated knife and prick each of the four quadrants.
  4. Bake the bread for 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 400 degrees and continue to bake until the loaf is brown on top and sounds hollow when tapped, 30 to 35 minutes more. Transfer the loaf to a wire rack and let cool for about 30 minutes.
  • Easy cleanup: Recipes that require cooking spray can leave behind a sticky residue that can be hard to clean. To save time and keep your baking sheet looking fresh, line it with a layer of foil before you apply the cooking spray.

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: ½-inch-thick slice
  • Per serving: 185 calories; 1 g fat(0 g sat); 3 g fiber; 37 g carbohydrates; 8 g protein; 2 mcg folate; 2 mg cholesterol; 2 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 22 IU vitamin A; 0 mg vitamin C; 67 mg calcium; 1 mg iron; 386 mg sodium; 179 mg potassium
  • Carbohydrate Servings:
  • Exchanges: 2 starch

Reviews 25

March 19, 2019
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I love this bread. It is one of the easiest breads I've ever made and it comes out right every time. It is crusty on the outside and densely moist on the inside. I love the texture the whole wheat flour gives it. For those that think it is too wet, it is supposed to be pretty wet and sticky when you turn it out. That is why you use a "well-floured" surface. You will add a small amount of flour to it as you shape it into the round (or oval as I usually do). The instructions for this recipe are very good (especially the "brown on top and sounds hollow when tapped").
March 17, 2018
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By: Lisa
Easy recipe, inexpensive to make and feeds many. Just got done making it and it excellent! Nice crunch on the outside and soft on the inside. Highly recommend!!!
March 06, 2017
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By: lois2r2
Thanks for the recipe! We simple can not resist home baked bread warm from the oven. If you are looking to save a bit on your groceries like us, you can print a coupon for $1 off any One Bob's Red Mills Flour at https://frugalharbor.com/. Thanks again, for the recipe!
April 14, 2016
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By: EatingWell User
Tasty but needs to be altered a bit Really like the flavor and I always add currants or chopped raisins, & put cornmeal on the bottom of bake pan. However, it is very moist, and the bake times are off. I don't think the initial 20 mins at 450 are accurate. Just made it following instructions for the 4th time, and next time will only do 400 degrees for 30 mins. Pros: Good flavor, quick to make Cons: All 3 times it was a little too gummy - check bake times
September 15, 2015
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By: EatingWell User
ratios off This recipe is way off. Cons: too much liquid, not enough salt, over-cooked
August 24, 2015
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By: EatingWell User
like soup It is baking now after I added oatmeal and flax meal to thicken it somewhat. It was still soupy and I poured it into an 8square pan to bake.
March 17, 2014
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By: EatingWell User
Wonderful Bread I made this for my St. Patrick's Day dinner of corned beef and cabbage and it was delicious. Followed recipe as written and it came out perfect. Only minor change was I baked the bread for 25 minutes instead of 30-35. I look forward to making this again, not only for St. Patrick's Day but for other meals as well. Pros: Easy to make, delicious
November 28, 2013
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By: ninap
real bread It is really quick, healthy, haw excellent taste, and you can improvise to taste by adding i.e. sessame seeds etc. Pros: quick, healthy, excellent taste, you can improvise to taste Cons: none
March 06, 2013
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By: EatingWell User
Bread for a Hearty Soup Can't get over the taste with only 4 items. Very fast to prepare and ready when the recipe said it would. We ate with soup and being on a low calorie diet it was perfect. Pros: Moist for a soda Bread
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