Soda Bread


This recipe is one that I have not really tried much but was amazed at soda bread and how well it does.

OG Recipe

Other recipes I want to try: Sally’s Grandmothers


2 cups white flour
1 3/4 cups whole meal flour (or just use the white flour)
2-3 extra flour for dusting

1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 cups buttermilk


  1. Preheat oven to 220°C/430°F (200°C fan).
  2. Line tray with baking paper.
  3. Whisk both flours (not Extra Flour), baking soda and salt in a bowl.
  4. Add buttermilk, stir until it’s too hard to stir anymore.
  5. Sprinkle 2 tbsp Extra Flour onto work surface, scrape out dough, sprinkle with more flour.
  6. Gently knead no more than 8 times, bring together into a ball. (Note 4)
  7. Transfer to tray, pat into 2.5cm/1″ thick disc.
  8. Cut cross on surface 1cm / 0.3″ deep using serrated knife.
  9. Bake 20 minutes. Turn oven down to 200°C/390°F (180°C fan).
  10. Bake further 20 minutes, or until the base sounds hollow when tapped in the middle.
  11. Transfer to rack and cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing.


1. Flour – wholemeal flour gives this bread a slightly nutty flavour which is lovely. Coarse or fine ground. Can be made with just plain/all purpose flour but flavour is more plain. Don’t bother using bread flour – it’s wasted on this no yeast bread.

2. Baking soda – also known as bicarbonate soda (bi-carb), 3x more powerful than baking powder. Stronger rise power required for this no-yeast bread. 

3. Buttermilk substitute:

  • 1.75 cups (435ml) + 1 tbsp of full fat milk
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar or lemon juice (or other clear vinegar)
  • Mix the milk and lemon juice together, set aside for 15 minutes. It will congeal on surface. Then use in place of buttermilk in recipe.
  • Volume is just shy of 2 cups of buttermilk (per recipe) because this substitute is thinner so you need to use a touch less otherwise dough gets too wet.

4. Dough stickiness – use more flour as required. The trick is to use just enough flour to make the dough manageable because stickier dough = more moist bread.

5. Variations – This bread is terrific as is, it’s a classic traditional Irish Soda Bread. Some popular flavoured versions (stir in with dry ingredients):

  • Oats – brush surface with extra buttermilk and sprinkle with oats. Can also mix in oats (up to 1 cup), but reduce flour in dough by 1/2 cup;
  • Raisins! Stir in 1 cup
  • Seeds! Pumpkin, linseeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, poppyseed. Stir through and sprinkle on top, about 1/2 cup. 

6. Serving – Especially great served warm! Use like normal bread – sandwiches, dunking, mopping plates clean, toasting, grilled cheese.

7. Storage – keeps well for 3 days in an airtight container, 4 to 5 days in the fridge. Or freeze it for months!8. Nutrition per slice.


450 Grams all purpose flour ( about 3 1/2 cups)
3 grams fine sea salt (about 1/2 teaspoon)
4 grams baking soda (about 3/4 teaspoon)
1 1/2 cups buttermilk, more as needed (about 6 tablespoons the powder milk version to 1 1/2 cups water)


  1. Heat oven to 450 degrees. In large bowl sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda. Make a well in the center and pour the buttermilk in and use your hands to mix in the flour and the dough should come together and be wet and sticky.
  2. Turn the dough out onto a well-floured work surface. Wash your hands. Knead the dough lightly for only a few seconds, then pat the dough into a round about 1 1/2 inch think ball. Place on a buttered baking sheet and using a sharp knife cut an X pattern all the way to the side.
  3. Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 400 degrees, and continue to bake until the top is golden brown and the bottom of the bread sounds hollow when tapped, about 30 minutes.
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