Irish Soda Bread Recipe (2024)

Irish Soda Bread is the easiest bread you’ll make – no proofing or kneading required and the dough comes together in 5 minutes. Soda bread has a soft and tender crumb with a Biscuit-like texture.

Irish Soda Bread Recipe (1)

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.

We love freshly baked bread, from Banana Bread to Homemade Focaccia. If you are a fan of easy bread recipes, this Irish Soda Bread is a must-try!

You’ll Love this Soda Bread!

I fell in love with Soda Bread the first time I tried it. Its lightly sweet crumb reminded me of our Paska Easter Bread and Hot Cross Buns, but it’s amazing how fast and easy it was to make a traditional Soda Bread.

What is Irish Soda Bread?

This Irish-American Soda Bread is traditionally baked for St. Patrick’s Day. It is a quick bread that uses Baking Soda (a.k.a. Sodium Bicarbonate) as the leavening to make it rise. Unlike traditional yeast bread, there is no proofing or rising time. Once the dough comes together, you score the top and bake right away.

Irish Soda Bread Recipe (2)


We love adding raisins for the holidays, but the raisins are optional. If you want to make it without buttermilk, then kefir works just as well to activate the baking soda.

  • Flour – all-purpose flour works best
  • Sugar – 1/4 cup makes it a lightly sweet bread
  • Salt – every good bread needs a fair amount
  • Baking soda – leavening which makes the bread rise
  • Butter – gives the bread a scone-like texture (use cold, unsalted)
  • Buttermilk – activates the soda (use cold, low-fat)
  • Egg – for a finer, richer crumb
  • Raisins – optional and can be substituted for dried cranberries
Irish Soda Bread Recipe (3)

Tips for the Best Soda Bread

  • Do not over-mix – as with scones, the dough really just has to come together before baking.
  • Sticky dough – the dough will feel sticky. Dust your work surface and hands with just enough flour to handle the dough.
  • Cold ingredients – there’s no reason to bring ingredients to room temperature. Keep buttermilk, egg, and butter chilled.
  • Generously grease the pan – buttering your cast-iron skillet before baking allows the bread to rise without sticking to the pan.
  • Cool on a rack – Once out of the oven, transfer the soda bread to a rack to cool so it doesn’t steam and soften on the bottom.
Irish Soda Bread Recipe (4)

How to Make Soda Bread

You’ll be amazed how fast and easy it is to form a loaf of this Irish-American Soda Bread.

  • Prep – Preheat oven to 375. Grease a 10″ cast-iron pan with butter.
  • Whisk dry ingredients – in a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda.
  • Add butter and raisins – cut butter into dice then work it into the flour mixture with clean dry fingertips until crumbs form. Stir in raisins.
  • Buttermilk – In a large measuring cup, beat together buttermilk and 1 egg and pour into dry ingredients. Stir with a wooden spoon until moistened and the dough starts to come together.
  • Form the loaf – transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface, dust hands with flour, and form dough into a round loaf. If too sticky to handle, dust with flour.
  • Bake – transfer dough to the buttered pan and score the top with a deep “X”. Bake at 375˚F for 50-55 minutes.
Irish Soda Bread Recipe (5)

How to know when Soda Bread is done baking? We bake for 50-55 minutes. When you tap the loaf it should sound hollow inside.

Common Questions:

Can I leave out the raisins?

You can omit the raisins, or even substitute them for dried cranberries or other bits of dried fruit like chopped apricots.

Can I make soda bread without buttermilk?

The buttermilk activates the baking soda, making the bread rise. You can substitute the buttermilk with a low fat plain Kefir.

What does Irish Soda Bread taste like?

It tastes similar to scones or biscuits but is very lightly sweet.

How to serve Soda Bread?

We love to serve soda bread is delicious served as a side with Irish butter and honey, or jam. It’s a lightly sweet bread so it pairs well with coffee or tea.

Why do you score the top with an “X”?

Scoring the top gives it extra surface area to brown and crisp.

Why is my soda bread tough?

Over-mixing or over-kneading the dough can make it tough. The less you handle it, the softer the bread will be.

Can I freeze soda bread?

Soda bread freezes really well. If you freeze it the day it’s baked (be sure it’s cooled to room temperature first), it will taste great thawed and toasted.

Irish Soda Bread Recipe (6)

This Irish Soda Bread recipe is sure to become a holiday favorite for you. It’s so easy and you’ll impress everyone.

More St Patrick’s Day Recipes

If you love this Soda Bread, then you won’t want to miss these St. Patrick’s Day-inspired recipes.

  • Green Smoothie Bowl – perfect for a St. Patty’s breakfast
  • Zeppole – a special treat loved by all
  • Spinach Artichoke Dip – your new favorite dip
  • Guacamole Stuffed Deviled Eggs – you’ll love the green
  • Roasted Brussels Sprouts – crispy with bacon
  • Broccoli Apple Salad – with creamy dressing

Irish Soda Bread Recipe

4.98 from 351 votes

Author: Natasha Kravchuk

Irish Soda Bread Recipe (8)

This Irish-American Soda Bread takes just 5 minutes to make the dough with no kneading and no proofing needed. It has a soft and tender crumb with a texture that is similar to biscuits.


Prep Time: 10 minutes mins

Cook Time: 55 minutes mins

Total Time: 1 hour hr 5 minutes mins


Servings: 12 slices (1 loaf)

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus 1/4 cup more for dusting
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 6 Tbsp cold unsalted butter, plus 1/2 Tbsp to grease pan
  • 1 3/4 cups cold lowfat buttermilk or kefir
  • 1 large egg, cold
  • 1 cup raisins or dried cranberries, optional


  • Preheat oven at 375˚F. Generously grease a 10” cast-iron skillet with 1/2 Tbsp butter.

  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda. Cut butter into small pieces and use your fingers to work the butter into the flour until crumbs form stir in the raisins, breaking up any clumps of raisins. Make a well in the center.

  • In a large measuring cup, whisk together the buttermilk and egg then add this mixture into the flour mixture. Use a wooden spoon and mix just until lightly moistened and dough barely starts to come together.

  • Transfer to a floured surface and use floured hands to shape the dough just until it forms into a round loaf. It should be shaggy. If it’s too sticky to handle, dust lightly with flour. Do not over-mix or bread will be tough.

  • Transfer to the buttered pan, use a knife to score the top with a large and deep “X”. Bake in the center of your preheated oven at 375 for 50-55min. When you tap on the bread, it should sound hollow inside. Transfer bread to a wire rack to cool. Enjoy within 2 days of making it and refrigerate leftovers up to a week.

Nutrition Per Serving

259kcal Calories45g Carbs5g Protein6g Fat4g Saturated Fat1g Trans Fat29mg Cholesterol295mg Sodium151mg Potassium2g Fiber4g Sugar195IU Vitamin A1mg Vitamin C14mg Calcium2mg Iron

  • Full Nutrition Label
  • Nutrition Disclosure

Nutrition Facts

Irish Soda Bread Recipe

Amount per Serving



% Daily Value*






Saturated Fat





Trans Fat




































Vitamin A





Vitamin C















* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Course: Bread

Cuisine: American, Irish

Keyword: irish soda bread, soda bread recipe

Skill Level: Easy

Cost to Make: $

Calories: 259

Natasha Kravchuk

Irish Soda Bread Recipe (9)

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Natasha, the blogger behind Natasha's Kitchen (since 2009). My husband and I run this blog together and share only our best, family approved and tested recipes with YOU. Thanks for stopping by! We are so happy you're here.

Read more posts by Natasha

Irish Soda Bread Recipe (2024)


How do you know when Irish soda bread is done baking? ›

Use a sharp knife to score the top of the dough into an "X" shape about an inch deep. This is to help heat get into the dough as it bakes. Transfer the skillet to the preheated oven and bake for 35 to 45 minutes. To check if the bread is done, when you tap the bottom of the bread it should sound hollow.

Can you over knead Irish soda bread? ›

Barely any kneading is necessary, but if you overknead it, it makes for a pretty tough bread. Start by mixing the flour, baking soda, salt, and sugar together. Dice up the cold butter and cut it into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter or the tips of your fingers.

Should Irish soda bread dough be sticky? ›

Note that the dough will be a little sticky, and quite shaggy (a little like a shortcake biscuit dough). You want to work it just enough so the flour is just moistened and the dough just barely comes together. Shaggy is good. If you over-work the dough the bread will end up tough.

Why does my Irish soda bread not rise? ›

If your bread is not rising at all, there is usually a problem with the yeast. It might be out of date or, often, dead due to high temperature. Yeast begin to die at 120℉ (49℃). To see if the yeast you are using is active, add a little to warm water with a little sugar and look for bubbles after 5 - 10 minutes.

Why is my Irish soda bread raw in the middle? ›

Your oven is too hot if it is uncooked in the center. Try lowering the temp on your oven by 25F and extending the bake time. Don't put anything on the top of the bread to aid in browning until the last few min. of cooking, and use an instant read thermometer (target temp to pull is 190F).

How long can soda bread sit before baking? ›

(Some recipes call for yeast and kneading, but know this isn't required.) You don't have to wait hours or overnight for a rise, either. In fact, you don't even need to wait at all: Dough for Irish soda bread can go right into the oven after making.


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Greg Kuvalis

Last Updated:

Views: 5615

Rating: 4.4 / 5 (75 voted)

Reviews: 82% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Greg Kuvalis

Birthday: 1996-12-20

Address: 53157 Trantow Inlet, Townemouth, FL 92564-0267

Phone: +68218650356656

Job: IT Representative

Hobby: Knitting, Amateur radio, Skiing, Running, Mountain biking, Slacklining, Electronics

Introduction: My name is Greg Kuvalis, I am a witty, spotless, beautiful, charming, delightful, thankful, beautiful person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.