🇮🇪 Ireland: Traditional Irish Soda Bread

Soda bread first gained popularity in Ireland following the introduction of sodium carbonate (baking soda) from the U.S. around the year 1800. Irish-grown wheat that was, at best, marginally suitable for making yeasted bread was perfectly suited to the new soda-raised bread. With this new ingredient, bread could be made with locally grown and milled wheat and buttermilk. Soda bread became a staple of Irish households during the Irish Famine of 1845 and has remained so ever since. Every Irish household has their own version of the traditional soda bread. This is the personal recipe of Karl Durnin, Chef of the Embassy of Ireland in Washington, D.C.

“For me, nothing smells like my home in Drogheda, Co. Louth as much as freshly baked Irish brown bread.”

-Geraldine Byrne Nason, Ambassador of Ireland
For the full experience, play this traditional tune while prepping the recipe!

🇮🇪 Ireland: Traditional Irish Soda Bread

Servings 1 9×5″ loaf
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour


  • 2 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup wheat bran
  • 1/2 cup oatmeal
  • 1/2 cup steel cut oats
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 medium-sized egg
  • 1 ½ cups buttermilk


  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Combine all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl, sifting in baking soda and salt. Mix well.
  • In a separate bowl, mix the buttermilk and egg together, then fold into dry ingredients. Mix together until just combined, do not overmix.
  • Add mixture to a greased, floured 9×5″ loaf pan. Flatten the top slightly with a wet spoon. Sprinkle some steel cut oats on top.
  • Bake on center rack for 1 hour or until a skewer inserted comes out dry.
  • Remove from baking pan and cool on a wire rack before slicing thickly with a serrated bread knife. Enjoy with a generous slather of Irish salted butter.

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