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. Source: EatingWell Magazine, April/May 2005

Darina Allen
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Ingredients

Directions

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

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  • 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.

Tips

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; 1.4 g total fat; 2 mg cholesterol; 386 mg sodium. 36.9 g carbohydrates; 7.5 g protein; Full Nutrition

Reviews (25)

Read More Reviews
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
03/19/2019
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
03/17/2018
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!!! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
03/06/2017
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! Read More
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Rating: 3 stars
04/14/2016
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 Read More
Rating: 1 stars
09/15/2015
ratios off This recipe is way off. Cons: too much liquid not enough salt over-cooked Read More
Rating: 1 stars
08/24/2015
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
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Rating: 4 stars
03/17/2014
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 Read More
Rating: 5 stars
11/28/2013
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 Read More
Rating: 5 stars
03/06/2013
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 Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
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: 5 stars
10/30/2011
this bread is great! Followed directions exactly turned out great. jack's mama cincinnati oh Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
Good texture and taste. A hearty bread that's easy to make. The ingredient measurements were perfect! Jo-Anne K. New York City NY Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
I made this along with the Irish Lamb Stew. Both came out great for our St. Patrick's Day potluck. I will make these again next year! Andrea Webster TX Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
Great recipe! I followed it exactly as printed and was very pleased with the result. It's the easiest bread I ever made! Sue Bellefonte PA Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
In regard to the recipe shown: I use same amount of flour but use 1/2 t. salt 1 1/2 t. bak soda 1 t. bak powder 1/4 c. sugar 1 T caraway 1 c. raisins. Knead lightly on floured surface make round loaf and put in greased wrought iron pan making deep cross in it. Brush w/ buttermilk and i put green sugar in the cross for effect. Bake 375 45-50 min JB Garrison MT Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
This recipes looks just about right for genuine Irish Brown Bread (not soda bread). There is a difference between brown bread and soda bread. Brown bread is a healthy dense bread eaten with meals - most prominently breakfast. It is not supposed to have "flavour". Soda bread is usually made with white flour and when raisins are added is eaten as a "sweet" or a dessert. Brown broad can have egg added to the mixture for added protein and if used less milk will be needed. Maggie Athlone IR Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
The recipe I use calls for 1 cup currants 2 tsps. caraway seeds and 2 tsps. orange rind and 1/4 cup Irish whiskey. It is delicious. This one looks pretty bland. amurphygirl Sacramento CA Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
While not historically accurate "traditionally " my Irish American family has always added raisins or currents or some other dried fruit to the batter. This tends to add some more flavor and makes it more scone-like. Anonymous Boston MA Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
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
10/30/2011
It was a bit floury tasting to me. I think it is really good otherwise - I just wish it had a bit more a flavor - but the texture is good and it is good toasted with butter and honey. Ashley Alabaster AL Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
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
10/30/2011
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
10/30/2011
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
10/30/2011
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
10/29/2011
I love this bread. I use it mostly for toast and with soup meals. It is easy to make hearty and healthy. Read More