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Irish Soda Bread


This crusty, traditional Irish bread is a proud product of the peasant hearth -- and the most suitable companion to Irish Stew. Soda bread requires no rising time, as baking powder, baking soda, and buttermilk act as leaveners.

  • Servings: 6

Source: Martha Stewart Living, March 2004


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 cup whole-wheat graham flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 2/3 cups buttermilk


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. Whisk together the flours, salt, baking soda, and baking powder in a large bowl. With a pastry blender or your fingertips, blend in butter until it resembles small peas. Add buttermilk all at once; stir with a fork until mixture holds together.

  2. In the bowl, pat the dough into a domeshaped loaf about 7 inches in diameter. Lift out dough; transfer to lined sheet.

  3. Lightly dust top of loaf with flour. Cut a 3/4-inch-deep cross in top, reaching almost all the way to edges. Bake, rotating sheet halfway through, until deep golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 1 hour and 20 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack.

Cook's Notes

Graham flour is coarser than regular whole-wheat flour, which also works. If you use the latter, substitute one-half cup wheat bran for one-half cup all-purpose flour.

Reviews Add a comment

  • housecat
    16 MAR, 2013
    this is my favorite Irish soda recipe. I make it every year for ST. Patty's dinner. It's simple and tasty. We slather cold salted butter on the crust.
  • hanmee
    16 MAR, 2009
    Tastes great solo or with a "topping" of your choice (e.g. butter, honey butter). Pretty easy to make and reminds me of the bread we had in Ireland.
  • sweetpea44
    21 MAR, 2008
    I made this for my family for St.Patrick's Day! I must admit that the buttermilk had me less than thrilled to try this bread but I love almost anything thats irish so I had to try it! Surprisingly after the bread was baked and cooled I tasted it and you couldn't taste any trace of the buttermilk! It was so yummy and a big hit with my family. It's like a big biscuit, somewhat salty, and is just soo good... My Mother said it is very good with Jam...