Irish Soda Bread

Just What You Knead This Holiday Season

It’s St. Patrick’s Day here in the US and, as someone with a bit of Irish blood in them, I wanted to celebrate with something delicious: Irish Soda Bread.

For the recipe, I hopped onto YouTube and found a straightforward one from the Ballymaloe Cookery School (video version). Here’s a version of the recipe pared down to its US-specific instructions:


  • 4 cups (450g) of white flour, unbleached if possible
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1-1/2 to 1-3/4 cups (12-14 fl. oz) of buttermilk (approximate)


  • Preheat the oven to 450°F
  • Sieve the dry ingredients together into a large mixing bowl and scoop a well out of the center
  • Pour most of the buttermilk into the well and mix the flour from the sides of the bowl down into the buttermilk. Add more buttermilk as necessary to form a soft (but not sticky) ball of dough
  • Turn the dough onto a well-floured surface and shape into a round about 1-1/2 inches deep
  • Cut a cross into the top of the dough, cutting all of the way to each side
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 400°F and bake for an additional 30 minutes or until done. You can tell that the bread has finished cooking if the bottom of the loaf sounds hollow when knocked
  • Lather each slice with butter and enjoy!

Other recipes said to let the loaf cool for at least 10-30 minutes before cutting for the best results so this likely applies here as well.


A bread load The same loaf, sliced into quarters Another, flatter loaf