How To Make Soda Bread

Around this time of year there is a lot of talk about how to make soda bread. Why? It is a staple of celebrating St. Patricks day. Slathered with butter or jam, soda bread is a lovely treat. But if you are a traditionalist, you may wish to look elsewhere for the recipe. This post is all about how to make soda bread with a few twists. It is still leavened with baking soda, but this recipe has whole wheat flour and the butter is baked in. In a typical soda bread, there is no butter.

how to make soda bread

How To Make Soda Bread – The Twists

A traditional Irish soda bread would contain the barest of ingredients. Those of you who think that an Irish soda bread has raisins will be disappointed to learn that a soda bread with raisins is not traditional. Those of us who have learned about real Irish soda bread from our grocery stores have likely been mislead. No raisins! I don’t like to put raisins in my soda bread, but I do like to use whole wheat flour. This gives it a nice bite and a nice texture. I also like to cut butter into the flour to help make a soda bread that has a nice tender crumb. As discussed, neither are traditional.

how to make soda bread

How To Make Soda Bread – The Technique

Making a soda bread in this non-traditional way is much like making a big biscuit that you bake in a pan. Flour, baking soda and salt are mixed together first, then butter is cut into it. The liquid, buttermilk, is then mixed in and the dough is lightly kneaded or folded until it comes together.

The buttermilk is necessary because it is the acid that makes the baking soda leaven the bread. Even with the added work of cutting in the butter, it is very easy to make. For baking, a cast iron skillet is great, but a cake or springform pan will work, too. Bake covered first then remove the cover to brown the bread.

Remember to cut an x in the dough after you shape it into a disk and before baking. Cutting an X releases the devil from the dough and the devil is not good for a soda bread! I once had a soda bread that was not cut and let me tell you, the devil makes your soda bread tough! It also has a slight taste of brimstone, yuck.

how to make soda bread

How To Make Soda Bread – The Butter and Jam

Traditional or not, slathering this soda bread with butter and jam is the right thing to do! Delicious!

The “How To Make Soda Bread” Video is below. The full recipe follows.

Almost Classic Soda Bread
Serves 16
A delicious soda bread with some added whole wheat flour and a little butter for tenderness
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136 calories
19 g
13 g
5 g
3 g
3 g
53 g
330 g
1 g
0 g
1 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 136
Calories from Fat 44
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 5g
Saturated Fat 3g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 13mg
Sodium 330mg
Total Carbohydrates 19g
Dietary Fiber 1g
Sugars 1g
Protein 3g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. 2 cups of all purpose flour
  2. 1 cup whole wheat flour
  3. 1 tsp of salt
  4. 2 tsp of baking soda
  5. 6 tbsp of butter
  6. 1 1/2 cup of buttermilk, plus or minus
  1. Preheat the oven to 400F.
  2. Butter and flour a 9 inch cake pan or springform pan.
  3. Place the flour, salt, and baking soda in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to mix.
  4. Add the butter to the flour mixture. Pulse until the flour mixture looks like coarse sand.
  5. Put the butter/flour mixture into a medium bowl.
  6. Add the buttermilk and stir together until a shaggy, slightly sticky, dough comes together.
  7. Pour the dough onto a floured surface.
  8. Gently knead the dough until it just comes together. Form the dough into a round disk, cut an X in the dough, and place it in the prepared pan.
  9. Cover the pan with a baking tray.
  10. Bake 20-25 minutes. Remove the cover pan, Bake 5-10 minutes more until golden brown. It will sound hollow when you tap it.
  11. Let cool with a tea towel over the bread.
  12. Serve with butter or jam
  1. Don't forget to cut the X in the dough. That X releases the devil from the dough.
The Culinary Exchange
I hope you enjoy!

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Do you know how to make soda bread? Are you a traditionalist? Let us know in the comments or on Facebook.

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