I love bread. From quick bread to yeast bread. This soda bread recipe is awesome. It is a perfect quick bread that can be made in under an hour.
Soda bread or Irish Soda Bread has been made for decades it uses baking soda and baking powder to make the dough rise when baked.
It is a great alternative to traditional yeast bread and the perfect bread to make if you don’t have yeast and want to make some bread. They do turn out different, it is more dense than yeast bread, but still delicious. If you need something for St. Patrick’s Day this is something you could make!
It is super easy to make, if I can do it, you can do it. Let’s get baking!
Step 1: Ingredients
To make soda bread you need just a few basic ingredients. Traditional Irish soda bread has just flour, salt, baking soda, and buttermilk.
- All Purpose flour – also known as plain white flour.
- Sugar – The sugar will add a bit of sweetness and can be reduced if desired. More can be added as well, depending on taste. (traditional versions left out the sugar)
- Salt – The salt will balance out the flavors and enhance the flavor.
- Baking soda – The baking soda is the main leavening agent and will react with the vinegar or buttermilk. Creating a nice tender texture will also neutralize the acid.
- Baking powder – The baking powder will help with the leavening but if you don’t have it just add a little more baking soda.
- Water or Buttermilk – I always use filtered water when baking. My tap water tastes horrible. Buttermilk is a classic ingredient to use. If you use buttermilk leave the water and the vinegar out.
- Vinegar – Apple cider, white distilled vinegar, or lemon juice will work. Traditionally buttermilk is used, but I wanted to provide a dairy-free option. So the vinegar is used to react with the baking soda.
- Caraway Seeds – This is an optional ingredient commonly added.
- Raisins – Raisins are another commonly added ingredient, but are optional.
- Baking sheet or cookie sheet
- Parchment paper or a silicone baking mat
Step 2: How to make soda bread
Preheat the oven to 400 F/205 C. In a medium bowl add all the dry ingredients the flour, salt, sugar, baking soda, and baking powder. Next, use a whisk and mix all those simple ingredients well.
Step 3: Liquids
In a large mixing bowl mix together the water and the vinegar. I typically will use apple cider vinegar but white distilled vinegar will work as well. If you do have buttermilk handy and would like to use it, you certainly can. In that case, you won’t need the water or the vinegar. You can also use sour milk.
Step 4: Make the soda bread dough
Now add the flour mixture about a third at a time to the liquid. Use a whisk to mix it in for the first third, then switch to a wooden spoon or sturdy silicone spoon for the remaining. Leave about 1/4 cup of the flour mixture left over.
Once the dough comes together in the bowl pour it out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead the sticky dough with clean hands of course for 2 to 3 minutes and add the extra flour mixture as needed to keep the dough from sticking.
It is better if the dough is left a little sticky, however, to keep the bread from being too dense once baked. You may not use all of the flour. I typically have a couple of tablespoons left over.
Step 4: Baking that yummy homemade bread
Shape the soda bread dough into a disc that is roughly 1 1/2 inches tall. Place the round loaf onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
NOTE: You can also bake this in a cast iron pan or even a dutch oven if you like.
Use a sharp knife, a serrated knife works best, and cut an X on the top or cut a # symbol. Scouring or slitting the top of the bread will help it to expand when it bakes and also control where it expands.
In Ireland, the scouring on the top was meant to symbolize the cross and giving thanks.
Place the bread in the oven and allow it to bake for 30 to 40 minutes until the top gets lightly golden brown and hard. You may need to cover it with aluminum foil if it is getting too brown on top before it is done baking.
You can check it for doneness by inserting a wooden skewer in the center of the loaf. If it comes out clean it is ready. In my oven 35 minutes is perfect. A nice crust will form on the top.
Step 5: Server up a slice of that easy soda bread
Allow the bread to cool for 10 to 15 minutes on a wire rack and then you can slice into it and serve it. I like to add irish butter and honey or jam to my soda bread. Meat and cheeses are also a favorite of mine to eat with it. Enjoy!
How long does soda bread last?
Store leftover bread wrapped in plastic wrap or a ziplock bag at room temperature for a few days. Or you can store it in the fridge for 4 to 5 days. You can also freeze it and it will last for a few months.
Here are a few more recipes you may like:
- Baking sheet with parchment paper
- 4 cups all-purpose/plain flour 500g
- 3 tbsp. white granulated sugar 37.5
- 1 tsp. salt 4g
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda 2g
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder 2g
- 1 1/2 cup water I used filtered (354ml)
- 2 tsp. of apple cider or white distilled vinegar 10ml
- Preheat the oven to 400 F/205 C. Place rack in middle position.
- In a medium bowl mix together the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda, with a whisk.
- In a large bowl combine the water and the vinegar. Then add the flour a third at a time. Use the whisk for the first third then switch to something sturdy like a wooden spoon. Save about 1/4 cup of the flour mixture.
- Once to dough comes together in the bowl, pour it out onto a work surface and knead it for 2 to 3 minutes. Add more of the dry mixture as it gets sticky.
- Shape the dough into a disc that is about 1 1/2 inches high. Then cut an X or # shape onto the top of it. Bake the bread for 30 to 40 minutes until a nice hard crust forms on the top and a tooth pick or wooden skewer comes out clean when poked in the center.
- Allow the soda bread to cool for 10 to 15 minutes before slicing into it and serving it. Spread butter, honey, jam, etc. Or serve it with meat and cheeses. Enjoy!
Do you like this classic Irish soda bread recipe? Please give it a rating and comment down below, I really appreciate it. If you make it tag me on Instagram @inthekitchenwithmatt. Also, sign up for the newsletter so you won’t miss out on any of my new posts and recipes.