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How to Make Irish Soda Bread

Updated on May 15, 2017
viking305 profile image

L.M.Reid is an Irish writer who has published many articles. She has a keen interest in creating delicious recipes

Irish Soda Bread Recipe

Brown Soda Bread
Brown Soda Bread | Source

Irish Soda Bread Recipe

Here is my mother's recipe for making Irish Soda Bread. There are three recipes below - for Brown Soda Bread, White Soda Bread and Fruit Soda Bread.

I have written easy step by step instructions with lots of photos. The first You Tube Video is of my 82 year old mother making the bread too.

It can be ready to eat within an hour after preparation has started. It can be used in a variety of dishes both savory and sweet.

Making Irish Soda Bread

Irish Soda Bread Recipe
Irish Soda Bread Recipe | Source

Brown Soda Bread Recipe

It is just as easy to follow with lots of photographs to help you with your baking.

Irish Soda bread also freezes very well so it will always be fresh and handy for you to eat whenever you wish.

Brown Irish Soda Bread

Ingredients

  • 16 ounces of plain brown flour
  • 1 level teaspoon of baking soda
  • 3/4 pint of buttermilk
  • 1 level teaspoon of salt
  • 4 ounces of soft margarine

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 425 Fahrenheit or gas mark nine. Lightly grease your chosen tin.

Mixing the Dry Ingredients

  1. Into a large bowl sieve the flour, and then add the salt and baking soda. Mix these ingredients together with your fingers, lifting slightly in the air as you do so.
  2. This gives the best result because it allows the air to pass through the mixture naturally. Put in the margarine and mix with your fingers until the mixture is crumbly.
  3. Do not use a mixer for this process because you will find your soda bread will taste heavy. This is because the air has not had enough time to mix in with the ingredients.

Mixing the Wet Ingredients

  1. Make a hole in the centre of the mixture and add half the amount of buttermilk. Mix in with a wooden spoon. Gradually add in the remainder of the milk.
  2. Once the milk has been blended with the dry ingredients it is time to finish off the mixing with your hands. You are aiming to achieve a light, soft dough, sticky but not too wet.
  3. On a wooden board sprinkle a generous amount of flour. Sprinkle a little flour onto the top of your mixture in the basin to allow for easy removal. Tip out the finished mixture on to the board.

Irish Soda Bread
Irish Soda Bread | Source

How to Knead the Dough

You will have to lightly knead the dough for about one minute. Cover your hands with flour as this helps with the process. If the dough gets too sticky add more flour to the mixture.

Once this process is finished add a sprinkling of flour on top of the dough. Put into your tin. Most people like to use the traditional round shape. I have been taught by my mother when she makes Soda Bread to use an oblong shape tin so this method is what I use.

Irish Soda Bread Cross

The last important step before baking the Irish Soda Bread is the cross. Using a large knife cut down and across to make a deep cut in the dough.

When the bread is cooked this cross will have separated the bread so that it is very easy to break the bread in to four quarters. Easier for cutting into slices and for storage and freezing.

Soda Bread Cross
Soda Bread Cross | Source
Brown Soda Bread
Brown Soda Bread | Source

Baking the Bread in the Oven

Bake in the preheated oven at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for fifteen minutes. Turn down the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit for the remaining thirty minutes.

Have a clean wet tea cloth ready for when you are about to remove the soda bread from the oven. If you bake soda bread often it is advisable to have a plastic bowl and a few tea towels exclusively for this purpose.

Check to see if it is Ready

It should look lightly brown on top. Before removing it from the oven you can test it by inserting a large knife into the centre. If it comes out dry then it is cooked. Bring the tin over to the wet tea towel and tip out on to it.

If this is your first time baking soda bread and you are not too sure if it is cooked then once it is removed from the baking tin you can tap the underneath lightly, if it sounds hollow then it is ready. This should also be lightly brown in colour and firm.

As quickly as you can wrap the wet tea towel around the hot soda bread and leave standing up against the wall or on a wire tray until cool. This will trap the flavour in and keep the bread soft while it cools.

Irish Soda Bread Recipe

For the best flavour and taste Irish Soda Bread is always eaten the same day.

Once it has cooled down enough to cut, then slice it up and spread on butter. You can also add jam or honey. Another very popular use in Ireland for soda bread is at breakfast time.

After frying an egg, rasher, tomatoes and sausage on the pan add a little bit of oil to the pan and cook for about 15 seconds, until the bread is lightly brown. This soaks up all the flavours of the rashers, tomatoes and sausages.

Freezing

Soda bread freezes very well, so if it is not going to be eaten that day prepare it for the freezer. It is always best to do this as soon as the bread is cool enough because the freshness is then frozen.

You can either wrap a quarter piece of the soda bread in a freezer bag and freeze whole or you can cut up in slices and wrap two slices in each piece of cling film.

Once removed from the freezer and put in the microwave to defrost it is as fresh as if it has just come out of the oven.

White Irish Soda Bread Recipe

To make White Irish Soda Bread substitute twelve ounces of the brown flour with the same amount of whie and prepare and bake as above.

Irish Sultana Soda Bread
Irish Sultana Soda Bread | Source

Ingredients

  • 16 ounces of plain white flour
  • 1 level teaspoon of baking soda
  • 3/4 pint of buttermilk
  • 1 level teaspoon of salt
  • 4 ounces of soft margarine
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 5 ounces of sultanas
  • 1 large egg

How to Make Irish Sultana Soda Bread

Step by step instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 425 Fahrenheit /Gas Mark 9.
  • Lightly grease your chosen tin.
  • Into a large bowl sieve the flour, and then add the salt, baking soda, sugar and sultanas.
  • Mix these ingredients together with your fingers, lifting slightly in the air.
  • This gives the best result because it allows the air to pass through the mixture naturally.
  • Put in the margarine and mix with your fingers until the mixture is crumbly.

Adding the wet ingredients

  • Add the egg and half the buttermilk into a small dish and whisk gently with a fork.
  • Make a hole in the centre of the mixture and add this to it.
  • Mix in with a wooden spoon. Gradually add in the remainder of the buttermilk.
  • Once the milk has been blended with the dry ingredients it is time to finish off the mixing with your hands. You are aiming to achieve a light, soft dough, sticky but not too wet.
  • On a wooden board sprinkle a generous amount of flour.
  • Sprinkle a little flour onto the top of your mixture in the basin to allow for easy removal.
  • Tip out the finished mixture on to the board.

Mum Making Soda Bread
Mum Making Soda Bread | Source
  • Lightly knead the dough
  • You will have to lightly knead the dough for about one minute.
  • Cover your hands with flour as this helps with the process. If the dough gets too sticky add more flour to the mixture.
  • Once this process is finished add a sprinkling of flour on top of the dough. Put into your tin. Most people like to use the traditional round shape.

I have been taught by my mother to use an oblong shape tin so this method is what I use.

Cut in to Four Quarters

  • The last important step before baking the Irish Soda Bread is the cross. Using a large knife cut down and across to make a deep cut in the dough.

When the bread is cooked this cross will have separated the bread so that it is very easy to break the soda bread in to four quarters.

Easier for cutting into slices and for storage and freezing.

Irish Sultana Bread Recipe
Irish Sultana Bread Recipe | Source

Irish Soda Bread

5 stars from 2 ratings of Irish Soda Bread
  • Bake in the preheated oven at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for fifteen minutes.
  • Turn down the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit for the remaining thirty minutes.
  • Have a clean wet tea cloth ready for when you are about to remove the soda bread from the oven.
  • Check on the soda bread to see if it is cooked. It should look lightly brown on top.
  • Before removing it from the oven you can test it by inserting a large knife into the centre.
  • If it comes out dry then it is cooked.
  • Bring the tin over to the wet tea towel and tip out on to it.
  • Once removed from the oven tap the underneath lightly, if it sounds hollow then it is ready. This should also be lightly brown in colour and firm.

The Sultana Soda Bread can be covered with butter and jam for a delicious snack.

By pouring hot custard over the sultana bread you have a very quick and tasty desert.

All Images are the copyright of L.M.Reid

How To Make Irish Soda Bread

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    • BJBenson profile image

      BJBenson 7 years ago from USA

      I can smell it cooking right now in the oven. I will try this soon. You make it sound easy. Thank you for this gift of love from you.

    • profile image

      Christine 7 years ago

      Love it,, must give it a try .....

      Well done yet again....

    • christine777 profile image

      christine777 7 years ago from Dublin....

      Very easy to follow instructions thanks...

    • viking305 profile image
      Author

      L M Reid 7 years ago from Ireland

      Thank you BjBenson. Christine and Christine 777 for your comments. It is worth giving a try because the soda bread really does taste wonderful And it is a great recipe to share with the children, they can join in and 'help' while having some great fun.

    • profile image

      Jaypyramid 7 years ago

      Mmmmm, soda bread, my mother used to make it all the time. My favorite was when it was fryed with the breakfast. I haven't made it for ages but after reading this, I'll be making it soon. I love the photo of the sultana soda bread.

    • itakins profile image

      itakins 7 years ago from Irl

      Delicious bread-I know it well:)

    • viking305 profile image
      Author

      L M Reid 7 years ago from Ireland

      yes, thanks itakins for reading the hub

    • profile image

      Casangel 7 years ago

      mmmmuuuuuyyyy, I love it fried and salted, the best...thank you for sultana soda bread , I will try that next...

    • viking305 profile image
      Author

      L M Reid 7 years ago from Ireland

      Thanks for your comment casangel, Yes fried soda bread with fried egg and tomoto. Gooseberry jam is lovely on the hot sultana soda bread

    • Garlic Angel profile image

      Christine 7 years ago from Dublin

      That is a great hub viking and very well explained.. I am going to give it a go... I will come back and let you know how I get on...

      Thanks for sharing it...

      Garlic Angel :-)

    • film critic profile image

      film critic 6 years ago

      Awesome! I forgot how much I liked Irish Soda Bread with a good cup of tea.

    • SteveoMc profile image

      SteveoMc 6 years ago from Pacific NorthWest

      So now I must make soda bread. Thanks.

    • Lisa HW profile image

      Lisa HW 6 years ago from Massachusetts

      I was glad to see this Hub. I love Irish soda bread, but the only time I get to have any is when St. Patrick's Day is coming, and my local grocery store makes sure to have it (until a couple of days past the 7th).

    • Arlecchino profile image

      Arlecchino 6 years ago from Top of the Cloud

      Do you think you made me hungry? - No, I'm starving now! Unique recipe and step by step description! Thumb up!

    • jandee profile image

      jandee 6 years ago from Liverpool.U.K

      Must get back to eating soda bread again ,healthy (no yeast) thanks for that, from jandee

    • marimccants profile image

      marimccants 5 years ago

      That might be delicious, viking305.

    • Wendy Krick profile image

      Wendy Krick 5 years ago from Maryland

      I love irish soda bread!

    • stricktlydating profile image

      StricktlyDating 5 years ago from Australia

      Yummo! I love Irish Soda Bread so much, and can't get it here in Australia, so I'm going to give some of your recipes a try. Great detail in your Hub, good to know how you can freeze it etc... Now you've made me hungry...

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 5 years ago from Germany

      I love Irish Soda bread. It is very delicious especially when they are fresh.Thanks for sharing. Bookmark for later use.

    • davenmidtown profile image

      David Stillwell 5 years ago from Sacramento, California

      Wow, what a great hub! So useful too! beautifully presented and clear... thank you for sharing this!

    • EclecticFusion profile image

      Lisa 5 years ago from Tennessee

      I think I'll have to try this! I've never made bread before, but it looks so good, I at least have to try! Voted up, useful, and awesome!

      Thanks for SHARING! SOCIALLY SHARED!

    • viking305 profile image
      Author

      L M Reid 5 years ago from Ireland

      My mothers recipe for Irish Soda Bread really is easy to make. She makes a few of each and then freezes it so her and dad always have some on hand when they want it.

      Thank you everyone for taking the time to leave a comment, voting and sharing

    • teamshepherd profile image

      Natasa Shepherd 2 years ago

      I think I will stop going through your hubs for today, they are very tempting. You do such a wonderful job with everything from instructions to pictures! I have bookmarked a number of your recipes.

    • viking305 profile image
      Author

      L M Reid 2 years ago from Ireland

      Thank you teamsheperd for your kind comments about my recipes. most of the are easy to make and I do enjoy cooking and baking

    • Garlic Angel profile image

      Christine 20 months ago from Dublin

      Hi

      I was wondering is it possible to substitute the butter milk with normal milk for the soda bread ?

    • viking305 profile image
      Author

      L M Reid 20 months ago from Ireland

      Hello Garlic Angel. No ordinary milk will not do, sorry

    • Garlic Angel profile image

      Christine 20 months ago from Dublin

      Oh ok I'll have to get me some buttermilk so

      Thank you :-)

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 12 months ago from Germany

      I have not eaten soda bread for a long time. I have to bake this bread again.

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