Recipes > Irish Soda Bread

Irish Soda Bread


This easy-to-make Irish soda bread takes less than 10 minutes to put together. Whole wheat flour, steel-cut oats, wheat germ and buttermilk are the main ingredients in this fantastic bread.
  • Serves: 1 loaf
  • Active Time: 10 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hr
  • Views: 43,023
  • Success Rating: 100% (?)
    0% - I fed it to the dog


Step 1: Making & Baking the Bread

Making & Baking the Bread
  • 11.25 oz whole-wheat flour (approx. 2 1/2 cups)
  • 2.25 oz all-purpose flour (approx. 1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 cup steel-cut oats
  • 1 tbsp wheat germ
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 cups buttermilk*


Preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C).

Coat a 9″ × 5″ -inch loaf pan with non-stick spray and then line the bottom with parchment paper. If you have a non-stick loaf pan, simply coat it with non-stick spray.

In a large bowl, measure and mix together the dry ingredients. Break up the brown sugar with your hands and sift in the baking soda and baking powder just to make sure there are no lumps. Stir to evenly combine.

In a separate bowl, blend the egg. Then add a bit of the buttermilk and blend to evenly combine. Add the remaining buttermilk and blend again. *Note: Either low-fat or full-fat buttermilk will work for this recipe.

Form a well in the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients over top. Stir gently but quickly – just enough to moisten the dry ingredients. Don’t overmix as you do not want to develop too much gluten.

Pour or spoon the mix into the prepared loaf pan and place into the oven. Bake for approximately 50 to 60 minutes or until a wooden skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. The top should also be a nice, even golden color.

Once done, transfer to a cooling rack. Let it sit for about 5 minutes before removing from the loaf pan. Let cool before serving.

Chef's Notes

Irish soda bread often calls for the addition of caraway seeds. If adding caraway, add about 1 teaspoon to the dry ingredients.

This bread is great served with soups and stews, but it also makes for delicious toast and/or sandwich bread.


  • Judi G
    Judi G
    This is a great bread and I'm so happy to find one with good old steel cut oats and whole wheat. Most of the others are pretty lame that I've tried. We had this with dinner last night (raves) and it will be on the breakfast menu today. I am going to try the soup next as it looks fabulous. Thanks for the beautiful photos.
  • Michael K
    Michael K
    This certainly looks very different than the bread my mother makes every year on St. Patricks Day every year. I can't wait to make some. Makes me want to make a good stew,a loaf of soda bread and a glass or two of Guinness. Slainte'
  • Eva P
    Eva P
    I made this bread last night and it was great. I used yogourt instead of buttermilk and it worked fine. A wonderful recipe to make for guests. Worth doing it again.
  • Bonnie D
    Bonnie D
    I made the first batch in a normal loaf pan the second batch I split into 3 smaller loaves (in one of those stoneware loaf pans that makes 4 loaves) and I just put the third batch into the oven. My husband loves this bread and asked me to make some for his work buddies. He said this bread reminded him of a wonderful bread he had at a friend's house because all he knew was Wonder bread. This truly is wonder bread, he said. When I did he decided not to share because it is so good. I love how this recipe is mostly whole wheat flour. I wonder how it would be with white whole wheat flour. I added some oat flour I had lying around...about 1/4 cup and it was also good. I had no butter mild the first time so used farm yogurt mixed with farm milk to get the consistency. All great. Thank you for such an easy recipe! Now that i have made it three times I have it memorized. I love that.
  • Ken R Rouxbe Staff
    Ken R
    Thanks Bonnie! We're glad you liked it. I think the whole wheat and alternative flours are a great option to explore baking. I enjoy the use of teff flour myself - I find the flavor to be very interesting and it works well (when mixed) in quick breads because it holds moisture well. Cheers!
  • Yuseph K
    Yuseph K
    Hi, I wheat germ necessary for this recipe. What is its role? Best
  • Ken R Rouxbe Staff
    Ken R
    Yuseph- I'm not sure it's 100% necessary, but it is part of the recipe for a reason. It does add some flavor and texture to the dish. You can substitute it by using some additional whole wheat or AP flour if you'd like. I hope this helps, Ken.
  • Roy J
    Roy J
    It seems that steel cut oats are a little hard (if not impossible) to find in my area. Any suggestions for alternatives in this recipe?
  • Ken R Rouxbe Staff
    Ken R
    Hi- If you can find 'Irish" or "Scottish" oats, or any oats that are less than processed. Rolled oats and quick oats are too fast to cook and get too soft this recipe. ~Ken
  • Roy J
    Roy J
    Hi Ken, thank you for the reply. The only form of unprocessed oat I found is the organic whole oat groats, uncut, unlike in the ones in the recipe. And they were hard to find as well. Would this work? I'm guessing they would need more time to soften... Are there any alternatives to oat maybe? This will be the first time I make any form of bread; is this recipe the wrong place to start maybe?
  • Dawn T
    Dawn T
    Roy, since this is your first time making bread, this might be the wrong place to start for you — but really, it depends on what you are going for. I just don't want your first making-bread-experience, to be any less then great. This recipe is more of a quick bread, not a traditional loaf of bread per say. Also, this particular bread is known for it's use of steel cut oats. Steel cut oats can be ordered many places online. I know that sells tons of them. Cheers, Dawn

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