The Easiest Irish Bread Recipe

The Irish Bread Recipe is one of the most popular in the world.

Of course, freshly baked bread is a hit in any culture. But the Irish add a delightful touch of superstition to their bread. Many people wonder how Irish soda bread was invented.

Well, everyone knows bread is usually made with yeast. In order for yeast to rise, it needs strong flour. Unfortunately, strong flour was one of the many scarce commodities during Ireland's dark famine years.

Being the resourceful and inventive people that they are, the original Irish bread recipe used baking soda, activated with buttermilk, instead. Thanks to the Irish, the world was blessed with a new, tasty way to make bread - hence, the name, Irish soda bread.

If you want to try your hand at making your own Irish soda bread, here's a foolproof (almost) Irish bread recipe...the easiest way to make this tasty treasure:

Amazingly Easy Irish Soda Bread Recipe


  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup margarine, softened
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk


HINT: To give a real authentic look to your creation, before baking any Irish bread recipe use a knife to cut a cross in the top of the loaf. According to old Irish folklore, the cross will ward off the Devil.

Preheat oven to 375° F. Lightly grease a large baking sheet. In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and margarine. Stir in 1 cup of buttermilk and egg.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead slightly. Form dough into a round and place on prepared baking sheet. In a small bowl, combine melted butter with 1/4 cup buttermilk; brush loaf with this mixture. Use a sharp knife to cut a big cross 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, about 30 to 50 minutes. You may continue to brush the loaf with the butter mixture while it bakes.

This Irish bread recipe makes 1 (1 1/2 pound) loaf, 20 servings.

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Whole Wheat Irish Bread Recipe


  • 4 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup white flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/3 cup oatmeal
  • 2 1/2 cups buttermilk


Preheat oven to 425° F.

Sift all dry ingredients together. Make a well in the center and pour in buttermilk and stir until soft dough forms. Turn on a floured surface and knead lightly to form a circle about 15 in. in diameter. Cut a deep cross into the dough with a sharp knife.

Place on a buttered baking dish and bake on middle oven rack for 15 minutes. Then reduce oven temperature to 350° F and bake for another 25 minutes until rich and crusty.

Cool on a wire rack before serving.

Source: Fodors Exploring Ireland

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Brown Irish Soda Bread Recipe


  • 3 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon quick cooking or regular (not instant) oats
  • 2 1/2 cups buttermilk


Preheat oven to 425° F.

Sift the flours, salt and baking soda together into a large bowl. Stir in the oats. Make a well in the center, pour in the buttermilk and stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture comes together to form a soft, moist dough.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and form it into a large rounded disk about 8 inches in diameter and with a sharp knife cut a deep cross through the dough cutting the disk almost into quarters.

On a buttered baking sheet bake the bread in the middle of a preheated oven for 15 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 350° F and bake 20 to 25 minutes more until the bread is crusty and richly browned.

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Traditional Irish Soda Bread Recipe


  • 4 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
  • Raisins (optional)


Preheat oven to 375° F.

Mix dry ingredients together. Add milk or buttermilk to form a loose dough. Add raisins, if desired. Place dough on floured board and knead until smooth. Form into a round about 2 inches high and make a large cross with a knife in top of dough. Bake on greased baking sheet for 45 minutes.


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Even with an easy Irish bread recipe, take it from me, it's hard to duplicate genuine Irish soda bread...especially if your a bit challenged in the culinary arts like me! : )

Sometimes, instead of taking chances and lots of time baking it myself, I opt for ordering it from a trusted merchant who carries genuine Irish food. I've found two in particular that I really like.

Find out where I buy Irish soda bread...and why I buy it there.

My Irish bread recipes are just the beginning...
Click here for my other easy Irish recipes

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