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How I Bake Wheat Irish Soda Bread

Updated on October 31, 2014

If I Can Bake Homemade Bread Successfully, You Can Too.

I'm not a good cook. Nope. Not even close. In fact, my oldest son said that after growing up with my cooking, the Army MREs (Meals Ready to Eat) were pretty tasty. I didn't take that as an insult. My mom, bless her heart, wasn't a good cook and I am only slightly better. But, herein lies the problem, I like to eat and I like to eat good food. Fortunately, with today's access to television, internet, and book stores, it is possible to find techniques and recipes that are easy enough for people me. Today, I made Brown Irish Soda Bread. If I can make this wonderfully, tasty bread successfully, you can too.

Image Credit: Photographs in this article by Dawn Rae - All Rights Reserved

Why Did I Choose Wheat Irish Soda Bread?

I chose an Irish Soda Bread recipe for a variety of reasons.

The main reason I made my first Irish Soda Bread is because I had tried a wonderful crusty bread. I found the recipe in Mother Earth News. The bread was yummy and it turned out pretty good. However, I'm sure some folks would have done even better than me with it. It had yeast as an ingredient. And apparently, I can't use yeast. Period. Case Closed. No matter what I do, I don't seem to use yeast correctly.

After that pretty-good-but-I-didn't-do-so-good Crusty Bread, I searched for similar breads. And found Irish Soda Bread. I chose it because it is yeastless. Hurray. But I was also happy to try it do to personal reasons.

My grandparents, God love them, never talked about their heritage with me. I remember Gramma singing some sort of song with the words "I'm Irish and Dutch, and don't amount to much". She mostly sang hymns but I do remember that one verse from that other song. I never fully realized that their last name "Dillon" (and her maiden name Sullivan) meant their family had probably originated in Ireland. I never gave it much thought at all, until I was a young adult and an older cousin of mine made a trip to Ireland, I think to see where we came from. Her trip made me remember that Gramma had talked a lot about having gone to Ireland (as an older adult) and had kissed the Blarney Stone. But that was the extent of my thinking about Ireland. Until more recently.

I chose an Irish Soda Bread recipe due in large part to the lack of yeast. But also out of respect and memory of Gramma and Grampa Dillon. I miss you both.

Watch Someone Baking Traditional Irish Soda Bread

Wheat Irish Soda Bread

Have you had Irish Soda Bread?

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Photo by DawnRaeB
Photo by DawnRaeB

Isn't this a fabulously small amount of items needed for this recipe?

The only thing I'm really missing are the "dry measure" measuring cups. It's not as easy to measure flour in my big pyrex cups. However, I LOVE my glass measuring cups.

The newspaper tablecloth is because we live in a small space, which I love. But, I want to make sure to not get the drawing/art table sticky or get art supplies on my cooking items. This space is dining, slash office, slash food prep, slash window garden, slash art table. There was no other reason for using this paper.

Preheat Oven to 425 degrees.

I never imagined that baking fresh bread was possible with so few items from the grocery.


  • 2 cups wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 Tbsp rolled oats
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk (or combine 1 cup and 3 Tbsp skim milk with 1 Tbsp white vinegar and refrigerate for one hour)


  1. Gather necessary items and ingredients.
  2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  3. Mix the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.
  4. Pour the buttermilk (or the vinegar/milk substitute) into the well and begin stirring slowly.
  5. "knead" the dough for a few seconds. Shape into loaf or round loaf shapes.
  6. Place onto a lightly greased pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes; until golden brown
5 stars from 1 rating of Ingredients List:
Photo by DawnRaeB
Photo by DawnRaeB

Mixing the Ingredients

The "well".

Using a larger mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients in a large bowl, forming a well in the middle. Pour the buttermilk (or the pre-made milk/vinegar substitute) into the "well" and stir mixture. Slowly incorporating more of the flour mixture until the dough is formed.

Making the "well" in the dry ingredients, in order to add the buttermilk, does make a difference. When I slop it all together, it does not mix as well. Speaking of buttermilk, I have used both buttermilk and the vinegar/milk substitute. I don't notice a difference in the finished product.

Photo by DawnRaeB
Photo by DawnRaeB

The Raw Bread Dough

This ball of dough didn't really need "kneaded". I place it on a floured cutting board and mix it around with my hands for a few seconds. It's too sticky to knead the way I have kneaded breads on my yeasty bread recipe attempts. Today, for the first time, I made it in a longer loaf instead of the round loaf. We prefer breads in baguette or french loaf shapes. The traditional Irish Soda Bread shape is a round loaf.

Photo by DawnRaeB
Photo by DawnRaeB

The 5 Star Rated Bread Pan

Holding my lovely, Irish Soda Bread Dough.

As I mentioned, the traditional way of making Irish Soda Bread is to divide this amount of dough in half and roll into 2 round balls. But we prefer the longer loaves of bread. I've owned this pan for a long time without using it and this is the first time I've used this bread pan. I've decided that I love it! I had been afraid this dough would get caught in the holes and be impossible to unstuck from the pan. I did spray very lightly with non-stick cooking spray.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, until loaves are golden brown.

The Best Bread Pan Ever - The Chicago Metallic Commercial II French Bread Pan

Chicago Metallic Commercial II Non-Stick Perforated French Bread Pan -
Chicago Metallic Commercial II Non-Stick Perforated French Bread Pan -
Because it is a commercial bread pan and non-stick and perforated, the loaves turn out perfectly when baked on this pan.
Photo by DawnRaeB
Photo by DawnRaeB

Baked and Ready to Remove from the Pan

I was afraid the loaf would be stuck to the pan in the little perforations. I ran the spatula along both edges, to "loosen" it, before flipping it out of the pan.

Photo by DawnRaeB
Photo by DawnRaeB


Finished loaf. I bet you can almost smell it.


I Love This Pan.

This is a photo of the pan immediately after removing the loaf. See? Barely anything stuck in the little holes. Click the Big Arrow link below to see my comments about this pan and information regarding where to purchase your own fantastic loaf pan.

Photo by DawnRaeB
Photo by DawnRaeB


I had been craving Brown Irish Soda Bread today because I knew I was making chili. I love the heavier, crusty, tasty bread with chili and soups. Now if you'll excuse me...

The Condensed Version of the Directions - 6 steps of baking a loaf of bread.

I just realized how much I rambled through the directions with the photos. Here is the short version; no rambling and no photos.

  1. Gather necessary items and ingredients.
  2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  3. Mix the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.
  4. Pour the buttermilk (or the vinegar/milk substitute) into the well and begin stirring slowly.
  5. "knead" the dough for a few seconds. Shape into loaf or round loaf shapes.
  6. Place onto a lightly greased pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes; until golden brown

After reading this lens.... you think you will try this recipe?

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More Irish Cooking Items

Now I'm anxious to try additional Irish recipes. Here are some cookbooks that I've added to my "to buy" list. Especially the desserts recipes.


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