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.

Darina Allen
Source: EatingWell Magazine, April/May 2005


Recipe Summary

1 hr 30 mins
Nutrition Profile:


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray and sprinkle with a little flour.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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 Facts

185 calories; protein 7.5g 15% DV; carbohydrates 36.9g 12% DV; dietary fiber 3.2g 13% DV; sugars 2.2g; fat 1.4g 2% DV; saturated fat 0.3g 1% DV; cholesterol 1.8mg 1% DV; vitamin a iu 21.6IU; vitamin c 0.5mg 1% DV; folate 2.3mcg 1% DV; calcium 66.7mg 7% DV; iron 1.5mg 8% DV; magnesium 5.1mg 2% DV; potassium 179.4mg 5% DV; sodium 386mg 15% DV; thiamin 0.2mg 20% DV.

Reviews (25)

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25 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 21
  • 4 star values: 1
  • 3 star values: 1
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 2
Rating: 5 stars
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"). Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Terrific recipe followed exactly and it really tasted delicious. Add a little bit of butter and/or some Maine blueberry jam and you have an awesome breakfast! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
If you wrap the soda bread in a linen type tea towel while it cools it wont be quite so hard and crusty. Sarah O'Halloran MD Read More
Rating: 5 stars
The quantities in this recipe are off. I followed the instructions exactly and ended up with a goopy mess instead of dough. I ended up having to add almost a cup more of flour to get the right texture for the dough. That said the bread once baked was very good especially topped with butter and preserves. Hamden CT Read More
Rating: 5 stars
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 Thanks again for the recipe! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
loved it! I thought it had all the components of Irish Soda Bread I've had in restaurants (this was my first venture actually making it myself): texture mouth feel flavor. It was great--and gave no indication that it was a healthier version of the original. However I did not use all of the liquid as the dough was plenty moist after 1 3/4 cup buttermilk and only baked it for 35 minutes not the full 50 even after reducing the heat. Abbie Peoria Heights IL Read More
Rating: 5 stars
So delicious! I wasn't sure how it was going to turn out without any sugar but it was delicious. This will definitely become a staple in our house long after St. Patrick's Day. Elizabeth Philadelphia PA Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Delicious!!:-) As another reader has posted here I only baked the bread for 35 minutes total (15 min. at 450 degrees F. 20 minutes at 400 degrees F.) and it came out great. I think that my oven does tend to bake things quickly though. I did the "toothpick test" at 35 min. and the bread was ready. Liz Davenport Upland CA Read More
Rating: 1 stars
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. Read More