Bake Irish Soda Bread for St. Patrick’s Day

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Irish Soda Bread is an easy quick bread to fill the bread basket with. It mixes up effortlessly and bakes up beautifully.

irish soda bread with cheese

We are creatures of habit in these here parts. Once I find a theme meal that works for us, we tend to stick to it.

Tamales on Christmas, appetizers for New Years, and …. wait for it…. Irish Stew on Saint Patrick’s Day.

Neither my husband nor I care for corned beef, so we avoid that American ritual and go to something simple: a hearty beef stew.

Oh sometimes, we mix it up. I might make this Guinness Beef Stew. Or a Shepherd’s Pie. But we almost always have Irish Soda Bread and Dubliner Cheese.

My kids eagerly look forward to these side dishes. The Dubliner is a little bit of a splurge, but Costco usually has a fair price on it. 

The soda bread is super easy to mix up. It goes great with the Irish stew — and there are rarely leftovers.

loaf of Irish Soda Bread with Dubliner

What makes soda bread different?

Soda bread is different from regular bread in that it doesn’t use yeast. Instead, it is lightened by baking soda. Combined with the acid in the buttermilk, the baking soda creates small bubbles in the dough.

What does soda bread taste like?

Soda bread tastes a lot like a large biscuit. It’s not light and fluffy like yeasted bread, but has a tight crumb, dense texture, and a firm crust.

What is the best way to eat Irish soda bread?

Irish soda bread is delicious with butter or cheese. It’s also tasty for dunking in soups and stews.

step by step photos of making soda bread

How do you make Irish soda bread from scratch?

Irish soda bread is super simple to make!

  1. Preheat the oven and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt.
  3. Stir in the oil and buttermilk. Stir until a sticky dough forms.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead it three or four turns.
  5. Place the dough on the parchment and pat it into a 6-inch round.
  6. Cut an x in the middle of the loaf.
  7. Bake for 25 minutes. The crust will be brown and make a hollow sound when thumped on the bottom.
  8. Cool the bread before slicing.

Check out this video:

loaf of soda bread with butter

How to make this good and cheap:

You know I don’t typically want to make something if I can’t make it good as well as cheap. Here are some of the strategies you can use to make this recipe more economical:

  • Stock up on ingredients when they are on sale. When I find regular kitchen staples on sale, I buy a lot. I’m currently using a price book to track prices and that’s saving me money. For this recipe, keeping an eye on the price of flour and butter can help keep the price down. 
  • Buttermilk is one of the pricier ingredients in this recipe, and it rarely goes on sale. Consider making your own buttermilk to save money.
  • Buying in bulk – It’s rare that I would buy small bags of flour. I also have gotten into the habit of buying cases of flour from Bob’s Red Mill or VitaCost so that I always have baking supplies on hand.

How I make this recipe easy:

This recipe really couldn’t be easier than it is, but having the right kitchen tools can really make your time in the kitchen more enjoyable. Over time, I’ve honed my collection so that they are perfect for my needs.

Here are the tools that I use for this recipe:

sliced loaf of soda bread with cheese

5 from 1 vote
irish soda bread with cheese
Irish Soda Bread
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
40 mins
 
Irish Soda Bread is an easy quick bread to fill the bread basket with. It mixes up effortlessly and bakes up beautifully.
Course: Bread
Cuisine: Irish
Keyword: Irish Soda Bread
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 157 kcal
Author: Jessica Fisher
Ingredients
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup unbleached white flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons oil
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flours, baking soda and salt. Add the oil and buttermilk. Stir until a sticky dough forms.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough lightly and shape into a 6-inch round. With a sharp knife, cut an X in the top of the dough.
  4. Place the round on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes. The crust should be brown and will give a hollow sound when thumped.
  5. Enjoy warm with butter or a bit of cheese.
Recipe Notes

Wrap any leftovers in plastic wrap and store at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Nutrition Facts
Irish Soda Bread
Amount Per Serving
Calories 157 Calories from Fat 45
% Daily Value*
Fat 5g8%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Cholesterol 3mg1%
Sodium 387mg17%
Potassium 112mg3%
Carbohydrates 24g8%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 5g10%
Vitamin A 50IU1%
Calcium 42mg4%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

*This recipe was originally posted on March 16, 2011. It’s been updated for content and clarity.

About Jessica Fisher

I believe anyone can prepare delicious meals—no matter their budget.

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Comments

  1. Dee says

    I made my Irish stew a day early since I have a very packed day tomorrow… All I can say is YUMMO!! And the beef is beyond tender! Wish I had had time for Irish Soda Bread, next year for sure!

  2. Happy St Patrick’s Day from N Ireland 🙂

    I can’t link up anything, as here it isn’t actually a day when we traditionally eat anything different! We do eat irish stew sometimes, but not especially today. I have never had corn beef, in fact I didn’t know it was associated with Ireland until I started blogging a few years ago!

    We don’t try to catch leprechauns, wear green so we don’t get pinched etc …everyone else seems to do these instead! Hope I haven’t disillusioned you too much 🙁

    My kids don’t even have the day off school – but I’ll probably head into Belfast to photograph the parade and share it on my blog later.

  3. Gotta have that corned beef and cabbage, right?

  4. I looked for that cheese when I made my fondue and never did find it. Your bread looks yummy!
    Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
    ~Liz

  5. I developed this simple and ALL NATURAL recipe for dairy-free fudge just this week. It even has alternatives for special diets. It was a great hit at our home. Try it yourself -it is a great way to sneak in a secret healthy ingredient into your diet as well! Happy Saint Patrick’s Day and thanks for hosting!

  6. Jenny says

    We don’t really celebrate or do anything special on St. Patrick’s Day and we are not real fans of Irish food. In fact, when I went to Ireland about 6 years ago, I thought I was going to starve before I got to England! I linked up a “green” recipe using spinach today, however I think it would be great to sub Dubliner cheese.

  7. Regina says

    Love that cheese! Hubby doesn’t like corned beef much, so I make a “Guinness steak pie”– double-crusted pie. You throw in some onion & floured steak, a handful of raisins, bit of brown sugar, S&P to taste, and simmer it all in Guinness (add more as needed) for a few hours. Now that I think of it, I should try this in the crockpot! Anyways, toss it in a pre-baked bottom crust, slap another crust on top and cook til the crust is done. It is amazing!

  8. Nancy Lundy says

    We don’t have a dinner ritual, but today I sent only green things in my 7-year-old daughter’s lunch – green salad with green Ranch dressing, kiwi, green grapes, pickles, and green lemonade. I can’t wait to hear whether or not she liked it.

  9. thanks for hosting, happy st. pats! I plan on getting my kiddos to eat green fruits and veggies today, stop by my post and see how, plus three naturally green healthy recipes.

  10. Jacky says

    I always love finding new St. Pat Day recipes to try each year!

  11. when i was growing up, my spring break was always over st. patrick’s day and we’d go to FL to visit my grandparents. my grandma would always serve corned beef and cabbage, which none of liked, so we’d go to mcdonald’s after dinner on our way back to our condo :)…now it’s my husband’s birthday so we don’t really celebrate st. patrick’s day, though i did make him a grasshopper pie for dessert 🙂 we’re having stir fry instead!

  12. It’s been a fun day! We started with green pancakes (which sort of turned blue when they cooked). Now we’re following your exact recipes for Irish Stew and Irish Soda Bread! Looking forward to a yummy dinner! Thanks!!

  13. I linked a little golden layer cake – the kind you find at the end of a rainbow!

  14. Hattie says

    We had Irish soda bread (my recipe came from a Taste of Home issue, and includes caraway seeds and raisins), fried potatoes, and a egg-sausage-mushroom-cheese breakfast casserole dish. It was a St Patty’s Day brunch for dinner.:) We watched Darby O Gill and the Little People, and ate brownies with M&Ms for dessert. We’re making shamrock cookies tomorrow, even if it’s a day late.:) The desserts may not be authentically Irish, but they’re yummy.:)

  15. AllieZirkle says

    YUM! I doubled this recipe last night. I baked it on my silpat as I didn’t want it crispy crunchy as my hubby & older daughter are in braces. They gave this recipe rave reviews! I’m thinking of making a recipe into biscuits as 1/2 my family won’t eat foods cut into triangles. Seriously. haha

    Allie

  16. Just made my very first loaf of Irish soda bread– I only tried a nibble, but it tasted good! I used all whole white wheat (because it’s what I had ;)). Looking forward to having some Dubliner cheese alongside a fresh loaf on Saturday!

  17. Samantha says

    We’ve made this recipe a handful of times in the past week- YUMM-O!!! I now just tell my daughter to “make bread.” I made chicken noodle soup, so when we made the bread tonight I added some Green Goddess seasoning (from Penzey’s- lots of dill) and a smidge of sugar. It was a nice addition, considering chicken noodle soup is not complex or spicy.

    • Jessica Fisher says

      Interesting variation! Gonna have to try spicing it up a bit. My big boys (12 and 15) can make it all on their own, so I, too, say “go make bread.” Love it!

  18. DL says

    My firstborn son was born on St. Patrick’s Day and even came to us with red hair! I am so excited as all my children and grandchildren will be coming over after church to celebrate this son’s birthday. As he really enjoys beef stew, your recipe may be just what I have been looking for to serve for dinner.

    When this son was younger we did a “green eggs” and ham breakfast one year. I used a bit of food coloring to color the eggs, but I must say it really wasn’t a winner.

  19. We made this tonight and it was wonderful! Thank you so much…everyone really enjoyed it! Hope you’re having a happy day! This week’s Homemaking Linkup is up and I would love to have you join, if you haven’t already.

    Blessings,
    Mrs. Sarah Coller

  20. So glad to see this recipe! Just today I checked to make sure I have everything for Shepherd’s Pie. I think I’ll add the Soda Bread to the menu 🙂 Than kyou!

  21. Shelly says

    What does the Dubliner cheese taste like? I almost bought some the other day. ( Aldi’s had it!) I didn’t buy it though, as I just wasn’t sure what the taste would be like!!

  22. Janet says

    Tried the Irish soda bread – failed. The bread looked wonderful but was very dry. Of course, if I had not forgotten to put the oil in the dough it might have come out better 😉 I didn’t want to waste it so I cut it into cubes, tossed it with olive oil and butter and a couple tablespoons of Cajun seasoning and baked in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes. Made great croutons. Next time I will try to follow the recipe and see if I can get it right.

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