The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Irish Soda Bread

JustinB's picture

Irish Soda Bread

Hey all! Just made a large batch of one of my favorite breads and least favorite to make (in large batches)! Took some pics :) So goooooooood


CarboKing's picture

Wow!  Your Irish Soda Bread looks yummy! 

Has anyone tried Rachel Allen's recipe for Irish Soda Bread? Did it work out well for you? I just tried 3 weeks ago and mine tasted of too much soda bicarbonate. does any one has comments on the texture of the bread before popping into the oven? Mine felt dense and heavy. I used 370 ml of buttermilk. Am I using too little of buttermilk? After baking, it was obviously heavy and dense, very light butter smell and flavour hot but hardly any when cold.... It gets really hard and tough 24 hrs later.

Here is Rachel's recipe which I followed: 

 Makes 1 Loaf

450g (1lb) plain flour
1 level tsp caster sugar
1 level tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp salt
350-425ml (12-15fl oz) buttermilk or sour milk



1. Preheat the oven to 230°C (425°F), Gas mark 8.

2. Sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Pour in most of the buttermilk (leaving about 60ml/2fl oz in the measuring jug). Using one hand with your fingers outstretched like a claw, bring the flour and liquid together, adding more buttermilk if necessary. Do not knead the mixture or it will become heavy. The dough should be fairly soft, but not too wet and sticky.

3. When it comes together, turn onto a floured work surface and bring together a little more. Pat the dough into a round about 4cm (1½in) deep and cut a deep cross in it.

4. Place on a baking tray and bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, then turn down the heat to 200°C (400°F), Gas mark 6 and cook for 30 minutes more. When cooked, the loaf will sound slightly hollow when tapped on the base and be golden in colour. I often turn it upside down for the last 5 minutes of cooking. Allow to cool on a wire rack.

rachel is Irish, so her recipe can't go wrong.  Must be something I have done... Geee.. 

I'm living in Singapore and honestly, I have not tasted Irish Soda Bread before. Have not seen it sold here...  I was trying to learn this in preparation for St Patrick's Day.

PeterPiper's picture

I've tried a couple different Irish soda bread recipes before settling on one that I modified to suit my own tastes.  Generally I think the dough should be pretty dry, almost crumbly.  If it's really moist I think it's more like a muffin.  Since it's quickbread you'll want to eat it up fast before it goes stale, but I've found mine never lasts that long.  Check it out here and see if you like the results.

Happy baking,



JustinB's picture

Thanks! it's delicious with jam or honey.. I need to stay away from it. I could eat a loaf a day.


My dough is extremely wet, and does have a similar texture to a muffin, but probably more like a firmer biscuit. I know some people don't consider it "traditional" to do this, but you can add in egg or raisins to help keep it a little more moist.  Cut in some butter to the dry ingredients and once you have it situated and ready to bake, dab the outside with a little cream.

BettyR's picture

My soda bread is much the same...not a traditional soda bread but a tweaked version that we enjoy...which is why we bake in the first place. I don't use raisins...we don't really care for them and I try not to make more than will get eaten up in one night with maybe a little left over for breakfast the next day. It's really good sliced and toasted in butter in a hot frying pan, then covered with a couple of runny yolk fried eggs.

It reminds me of a mix between a biscuit and a scone.

· 4 cups all-purpose flour
· 1/4 cup white sugar
· 1 teaspoon baking soda
· 1 tablespoon baking powder
· 1/2 teaspoon salt
· 1/2 cup butter, softened
· 1 cup buttermilk
· 1 egg, beaten

Preheat oven to 350°

Mix dry ingredients together and cut in butter. Combine egg and buttermilk and add to dry ingredients.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead slightly. Form dough into a round and place on prepared baking sheet,(I use parchment paper). Use a sharp knife to cut an 'X' into the top of the loaf.

Bake in preheated oven for 45 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.

SylviaH's picture

Last year, I posted a recipe used by my family for years for one of our soda's the traditional version...there is also some instructions for farls on the stovetop grill..this is called Sylvia's Irish Soda Bread ' after my mother.  I have posted soda also brown bread version..on my blog.  You might find the step by step photos helpful..making soda bread a few times you will find the 'touch and feel' for it.  Posted here under 'Sylvia's Irish Soda Bread' if my link doesn't work.


skye1263's picture
  • Thank you for posting this. I have friends in Northern Ireland that love farls, so going to try your mom's recipe for them. I have made Irish soda bread but will try your mom's recipe too but today- the farls. Take care!
CarboKing's picture

Thanks folks for all your suggestions and comments. I will try out again with different recipes. 



skye1263's picture
  • Hi!  I had just posted that I only have a ninja foodie oven to cook in and one of the things I tried to make was Irish soda bread. I said it looked good on the outside but didn't cook so well on the inside. Well this looks like a perfect solution, I'll make them closer to the size you have in this picture! Can't wait to try it and those look delicious. Thank you for posting this!
The Roadside Pie King's picture
The Roadside Pi...