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Irish Soda Bread

About 4 servings
Prep info
15 min prep + 60 min bake + cool completely
Prep time
Not set
Cook time
1 hour, 30 minutes
Time required
1 hour, 30 minutes
Oven preheat


  • 1.5 c Flour (Plain)
  • 1.5 c Flour (Wholemeal)
  • 55 g Sugar (Brown)
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 28 g butter (chilled, cut into 1/2" cubes)
  • 1 c buttermilk (or more as needed)


  • Preheat oven to 425°F. Grease heavy baking sheet with nonstick spray. Whisk both flours, sugar, and baking soda in medium bowl to blend. Add butter and cut in until margarine is reduced to pea-size pieces. Add buttermilk; stir until shaggy dough forms. Turn dough out onto lightly floured work surface. Knead until dough comes together, about 10 turns. Shape dough into a round about 1 inch high. Place dough on prepared baking sheet. Cut large X, 1/2 inch deep, in top of dough, almost all the way to the edges of the round.

  • Bake bread in center of oven for about 20 minutes at 425F, then turn down heat to 375F.
  • Bake until deep brown and bottom sounds hollow when firmly tapped (a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread should emerge clean without any stickiness or moistness).  Start checking for doneness after 40 minutes total of baking. Transfer bread to rack and cool completely.


SJ Note 18 March 2010: This was good.  Glad the test kitchen made their adjustments, seems they mostly worked.  The outside had burnt a bit, so I've adjusted the time and temperature directions in this copy to reflect what I'll try next time.  I halved the recipe to the amounts above, and it was a good amount for the two of us for two nights.  I only used plain flour, as we were out of whole wheat flour, so it was more tender than it will be when made with whole wheat flour, too; it worked just fine. 

I also used the substitute of sour milk instead of the buttermilk (1 T vinegar or lemon juice, then fill the rest of the cup (15 T) with milk, let stand for 10 minutes), and that worked just fine.  Many of the reviewers needed more than the called-for amount of buttermilk, so if you're using the substitution, I'd suggest making up 1.5 cups (so use 1.5 T vinegar or lemon juice, then fill the rest of the way to 1.5 cups with milk) so you have it ready if needed.