Breads & Doughs Mum’s Traditional Irish Soda Bread Recipe (Brown Bread) 4.66 from 725 votes Create a Profile! × Sign Up Already have an account? Sign In Jump To Recipe Jump To Video Save Recipe My Mum’s Traditional Irish Soda Bread is full of warmth and flavor and is a simple quick bread that is a must for your upcoming St. Patrick's Day, but also perfect for any time of the year! By Gemma Stafford | February 12, 2021 | 1109 Last updated on March 11, 2023 This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my full disclosure for details. Hi Bold Bakers! WHY YOU WILL LOVE THIS RECIPE My mum’s Traditional Irish Soda Bread is beautiful, hearty and healthy with a lovely wheat flavor but no need for yeast or proofing! Attached to it are such great memories that transport me right back to a time at home Ireland! IMPORTANT NOTE: This recipe was updated and improved on 3/12/23, to include clearer definition (of BROWN BREAD), answers to FAQ (why dense or bitter, vegan and dairy-free options) and Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips. In Ireland, we are extremely fortunate to have access to some of the best produce in the world, from butter, eggs, oats, and much more. I was very lucky to have an incredible Mum who showed me how to cook. She made everything from scratch every day. For a family of seven, that’s pretty incredible. My mum says one of the greatest gifts you can give a child is to teach them how to cook. This is one of the main reasons why I’m here today to pass on what I know. With my mum’s permission, I’m allowed to share her recipe for Traditional Irish Soda Bread with you. Traditional Irish Soda Bread has a particular look, but do you know what it is? The marking on top is a cross. It comes from blessing the bread before baking. Also, you poke a hole in each corner of the loaf with a sharp knife to release the fairies that can curse your bread if not released. Table of Content What Is Traditional Irish Soda Bread? Tools You Need Traditional Irish Soda Bread Ingredients How To Make Traditional Irish Soda Bread FAQs Notes On Buttermilk Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips For Making Irish Soda Bread Try These Irish Recipes! What Is Traditional Irish Soda Bread Traditional Irish Soda Bread (AKA Traditional Irish Brown Bread) is made in homes every day all over Ireland. It has a beautiful crust, a close crumb, and a lovely wheat flavor. Hearty and healthy, Irish Soda Bread doesn’t require yeast and no resting so it is incredibly fast to whip up. And the faster you make it the better the bread will be. It is what’s considered a quick bread. Tools You Need Measuring cups, Knife Whisk Large bowl Jug Pan Wire rack Ingredients Whole wheat flour: Whole wheat flour is what makes this Irish Soda Bread hearty and healthy. Whole wheat flour is made by grinding the entire wheat kernel with the bran (packed with fiber and nutrients), the germ , and the endosperm intact. All-purpose flour: All-purpose flour cooperates with whole wheat flour to make sure the bread still has descent rise and the result is not overly dense. Salt: Salt brings out all the flavors! Baking soda: Baking soda is a chemical leavener that will help soda bread rise. Butter: COLD butter will create air pockets to make soda bread rise slightly lighter. Egg: An egg enriches the dough (optional). You can also check out my Egg Substitute Chart for alternatives. Buttermilk: Buttermilk provides acid to react with baking soda to make the bread rise and to tenderize gluten to make the bread soft. Oats: Oats add texture and give the bread a beautiful finish. How to Make Irish Soda Bread Making Irish Soda Bread can be as rewarding as it is easy. And with St. Patrick’s Day coming up, it’s the perfect way to ring in the holiday while we’re all at home and not at the pub. And don’t have buttermilk? No problem! You can just as easily make your own with our Homemade Buttermilk recipe. You can also find my easy Buttermilk Substitute recipe as a great addition to this recipe and many others (Don’t forget the full written recipe, with measurements, down below). In a large bowl, mix the flours, salt, and baking soda. With your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles bread crumbs. In a jug, whisk the egg and buttermilk together. Pour most of the contents of the jug into the bowl. Use your hands to bring the flour and the liquid into a loose, soft, and not too sticky dough. Bring the dough together into a round on a floured surface. Place on a baking sheet and score the bread with a deep cross on top, while also poking four holes into the corners of the bread. Use the leftover contents of the jug to glaze the bread and dust the top with rolled oats. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes, before turning down to 400 degrees for another 30 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack. Traditional Irish Soda Bread FAQs Why is my soda bread dense? Over mixing toughens gluten. Bring all wet and dry ingredients together gently with an open hand JUST until it starts to form a ball (add more liquid accordingly to gather all dry bits). Why is my my soda bread bitter and dark? Extra leavening agent-baking soda will make soda bread bitter and dark. Put 1 LEVEL teaspoon of baking soda in your palm and break part any lumps using the back of your measuring spoon. How can I make vegan/dairy-free soda bread? For the best result, use vegan baking butter. And you can easily make dairy-free buttermilk using plant-based milk of your choice following my How to Make Buttermilk Substitute recipe. Notes On Buttermilk Buttermilk is a must in this recipe and can’t be left out. The main reason is the buttermilk chemically reacts with the baking soda to make the bread rise. The buttermilk adds a lovely flavor to your bread. Some people worry about tasting the acid buttermilk but once it’s baked you can’t taste it at all. Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips For Making Irish Soda Bread Use a large enough bowl so you have space to mix your dough, which will reduce the chances of you over-mixing and toughening your bread. Always level your teaspoon of baking soda before adding it to your ingredients. There are two very good reasons for this that can make or break your bread: Too much baking soda will tint your bread green! Seriously, it gives your bread a greenish hue on the inside. Too much baking soda can give your bread a very acidic taste which can be quite unpleasant, so remember less is more with the baking soda. Keep the whole wheat flour fresh by placing it in the freezer. The oils in the flour can turn rancid over time so just freeze it and use it when you’re in need. Your freezer may be an ice queen, but she’s always got your back. For a beautiful, crispy crust refrain from opening the door while baking. I know how tempting it is, but believe me your bread won’t burn. Try These Irish Recipes! Authentic Irish Potato Farls Gemma’s Best-Ever Irish Scones Mum’s Irish Apple Cake Traditional Irish Barmbrack Authentic Waterford Blaas (Rolls) Don’t miss more of my Irish recipes. And don’t forget to buy my new book Bigger Bolder Baking Every Day: Easy Recipes to Bake Through a Busy Week! Full (and printable) recipe below! IMPORTANT NOTE: This recipe was updated and improved on 3/12/23, to include clearer definition (of BROWN BREAD), answers to FAQ (why dense or bitter, vegan and dairy-free options) and Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips. Try These Recipes! Farfalle Pasta Recipe (How to Make Farfalle Pasta)Homemade Penne Pasta RecipeRigatoni Pasta recipe (How to Make Rigatoni Pasta)Homemade Krispy Kreme Donuts Recipe Watch The Recipe Video! Play Mum's Traditional Irish Soda Bread Recipe (Brown Bread) 4.66 from 725 votes Print Recipe Add to Favorites Loading… Learn how to make my mum's Traditional Irish Soda Bread recipe which is such a simple quick bread you can make for St. Patrick's Day or any time of the year! Author: Patricia Stafford Servings: 6 people Lunch St. Patrick's Day Baking Pans Prep Time 15 minutes minsCook Time 45 minutes minsTotal Time 1 hour hr Learn how to make my mum's Traditional Irish Soda Bread recipe which is such a simple quick bread you can make for St. Patrick's Day or any time of the year! Author: Patricia Stafford Servings: 6 people Ingredients 1 ¾ cups (260 g/9 oz) whole wheat flour (fine ground)1 ¾ cups (260 g/9 oz) all-purpose flour1 teaspoon salt1 teaspoon baking soda2 tablespoons (28 g/1 oz) cold butter, cubed 1 large egg1 ⅔ cups (13 fl oz/370 ml) buttermilk*1 tablespoons rolled oats Instructions Preheat the oven to 425°F (215°C). Line a baking tray with parchment paper and set aside. Mix together the flours, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl. Add the butter and rub it into the flour mixture with your fingertips until it resembles course bread crumbs.In a separate jug, whisk the egg and buttermilk together (see note on how to make Buttermilk below)Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the liquid, hold a little back. Using an open hand bring the flour and liquid together to a loose dough. The dough should be quite soft, but not too sticky. You will know then if it needs more of the liquids. (Flour in different places reacts differently to added liquid).Turn onto a floured work surface and gently bring the dough together into a round, about 1 1/2 inches (4cm) thick and 8 inches by 8 inches.Place on the baking sheet and score the bread by blessing it with a deep cross on top (see video). Poke a hole in the 4 corners of the bread to release the fairies and stop them from cursing your beautiful bread.Glaze the bread with the leftover bit of buttermilk in your jug and scatter the oats on top.Bake for 15 minutes, then turn down the oven to 400°F (200°C) and bake for 30 minutes more. When done, the loaf will sound slightly hollow when tapped on the bottom. Remove from the baking sheet and place on a wire rack to cool.Once cooled, slice the bread and enjoy with butter. Store leftovers covered at room temperature for up to 3 days. Play Recipe Notes 6 SmarPoints5 PointsPlus Points *For every Cup of Buttermilk needed mix 1 cup of regular milk with 2 tablespoons of Lemon juice or white vinegar. Mix and let it stand for a minimum of 30 minutes before using. Nutrition Facts Mum's Traditional Irish Soda Bread Recipe (Brown Bread) Amount Per Serving (8 g) Calories 183 Calories from Fat 36 % Daily Value* Fat 4g6%Saturated Fat 2g13%Cholesterol 33mg11%Sodium 583mg25%Carbohydrates 28g9%Fiber 2g8%Sugar 3g3%Protein 7g14% * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.