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Traditional Irish Soda Bread (Brown Bread)- My Mammies recipe for brown bread. This whole wheat bread is nutritious and fast to make.

Traditional Irish Soda Bread (Brown Bread)

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Hi Bold Bakers!

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 Mammy 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. 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 to release the fairies that can curse your bread if not released. 

A few notes about 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 lovely flavor to your bread. Some people worry about tasting the acid buttermilk but once it’s bake you can’t taste it at all. If you can’t buy buttermilk, the next best things is you can make it. My Buttermilk recipe is below in the notes of the bread recipe.

Tips for a perfect loaf of Soda Bread: Start out by mixing your bread dough in a large 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: 1): Too much baking soda will tint your bread green! Seriously, it gives your bread a greenish hue on the inside. Worse than that; 2) 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. 

For the whole wheat flour, I like to keep mine fresh in the freezer because I don’t use it as often as white flour. The oils in the flour can turn rancid over time so just freeze it and use it when you’re in need.

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. It’s not going anywhere and it will be worth it when you take out a beautiful loaf of bread with a thick crust.

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Traditional Irish Soda Bread is made in homes everyday all over Ireland. It has a beautiful crust, a close crumb and a lovely wheat flavor.

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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.

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4.6 from 22 reviews
Traditional Irish Soda Bread (Brown Bread)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 8
  • 1¾ cups (265g/ 9oz) whole wheat flour (fine or coarsely ground)
  • 1¾ cups (265g/9oz) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons (30g/1oz) butter, cold
  • 1 egg
  • 1⅔ cups (400ml) buttermilk*
  • 1 tablespoons oats
  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F (215°C).
  2. Mix together the flours, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl. Add the butter and rub into the flour mixture with your fingertips until it resembles bread crumbs.
  3. In a separate jug, whisk the egg and buttermilk together (see note on how to make Buttermilk below)
  4. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour the liquid into the flour mixture.
  5. Using an open hand bring the flour and liquid together to a loose dough. The dough should be quite soft, but not too sticky.
  6. Turn onto a floured work surface and gently bring the dough together into a round about 1½ inches (4cm) thick (8 inches by 8 inches) .
  7. Place on a baking sheet dusted well with flour
  8. Score the bread by blessing it with a deep cross on top. Poke a hole in the 4 corners of the bread to release the fairies and stop them from cursing your beautiful bread.
  9. Glaze the bread with the leftover bit of buttermilk in your jug and dust the top with rolled oats.
  10. 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.
6 SmarPoints
5 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 Information
Serving size: 8 servings Calories: 183 Fat: 4g Saturated fat: 2g Unsaturated fat: 0g Trans fat: 0g Carbohydrates: 28g Sugar: 3g Sodium: 583mg Fiber: 2g Protein: 7g Cholesterol: 33mg



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Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, and I’m passionate about sharing my years of experience to show you how to make game-changing baking recipes with over-the-top results! Join more than 1 Million other Bold Bakers in the community for new video recipes every week!

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  1. Caroline on January 18, 2018 at 2:02 am

    If I use a gluten-free flour mix instead of the 2 flours listed in this recipe do you think it will turn out alright? FYI my gf mix does have xantham gum in it. Thanks ahead of time! I want to make this to accompany my turkey dinner tonight.

    • Gemma Stafford on January 18, 2018 at 2:11 am

      Hi Caroline,
      This is a whole wheat soda bread, and as such it does not rely on gluten.
      Xanthan gum replicates gluten in GF flour, so it is an important addition in baking, it has its’ place.
      What you are relying on in this recipe is the reaction between the Bicarbonate of soda, which is an alkaline, ans buttermilk which is an acid. This is what provides the leavening.
      I think you can try this, and it should work well for you. Again do not work it too hard, add the liquids until the dough forms, then stop, all flour takes up liquids in a different way, do not over wet it, but it does not like to be too dry, so a clean bowl!
      Work fast, have your hot oven ready, and go!
      Your turkey dinner sounds delicious!
      Gemma 🙂

  2. Sameera Rizvi on December 31, 2017 at 11:27 am

    Happy New year to you and ur family Gemma

    • Gemma Stafford on January 2, 2018 at 6:11 am

      Hi Sameera,
      Thank you, and many happy returns to you and your family,
      Gemma 🙂

  3. Sameera Rizvi on December 29, 2017 at 11:58 am

    Hiii gemma,
    Can i make the dough at night and then bake the bread in the morning for breakfast.

    • Gemma Stafford on December 30, 2017 at 4:43 am

      This bread is best made and baked, it takes seconds to mix it, you can do it when the oven is heating up.
      A raising agent like bread soda/baking powder begins to activate the moment it is wet. If you leave it too long before baking it will be spent.
      Get your dry ingredients ready, and just mix before baking.
      Happy New year to you and your family,
      Gemma 🙂

  4. Tonia on December 28, 2017 at 9:06 pm

    Hi Gemma,

    Really love your site and videos, have been watching your Gemma eats recently, love it!

    I’m wondering is it possible to use all all -purpose flour instead of the mixture of wholemeal and all-purpose?


    • Gemma Stafford on December 29, 2017 at 3:43 am

      Hi Tonia,
      Yes, it is perfectly possible. In this case a few handfuls of raisins, and a tablespoon of sugar would be added to the flour before mixing. The resultant brerad was called ‘spotted dog’ and is delicious with butter and jam!
      You can also make a savory version, delicious with cheese, or soup. Experiment with this, it is easy!
      Gemma 🙂

  5. Drunken Sailor... on December 22, 2017 at 9:26 pm


    What about adding a tablespoon or two of Irish Cream whisky or Kahlua to the bread?

    Should I reduce the amount of buttermilk, will it get too wet?

    Or just toss it in?

    Also, how about cranberries or raisins, added to the batter? More buttermilk?

    • Gemma Stafford on December 23, 2017 at 10:06 pm


      So I like the way you think. you can go ahead and just toss raisins or cranberries in to the mix, that will work great.

      If you were going to add an alcohol to this bread I would recommend a stout like Guinness. I really don’t think Baileys or Kahlua would taste good in these breads.

      I hope this helps,

  6. Neha Agnihotri on December 13, 2017 at 1:09 am

    Hi Gemma, can I increase the quantity of buttermilk used if I don’t want to use eggs here (since buttermilk is one of the substitutes for egg).

    • Gemma Stafford on December 13, 2017 at 2:02 am

      Hi Neha,
      This bread is often made without egg, the addition is a choice. You can just mix it up with the suggested amount of buttermilk, add a little natural yogurt if you have it, and away you go! Work fast, do not overwork this dough.
      Thank you for being in touch,
      Gemma 🙂

  7. Honey on December 6, 2017 at 11:14 pm

    Your recipe reminds me of my late Granddad’s (my Mum’s Dad) which was handed down to him from his mother (before she left Kilkenny to move to Halifax, Nova Scotia). The only variation was he would combine it with the potato bread recipe from his paternal grandmother (who was from Claremorris) gave his Mum on her wedding day (apparently sharing recipes was the family’s way of saying “welcome to the family”). I still can remember in (in my younger years) especially the winter months, he would have baking sessions that would last for days and the smell of fresh bread was very welcoming. Because some of the loaves made from both recipes, it was obviously denser, but it was very filling. One of his favourites with the soda bread was to have it with a little butter and molasses.

    Sadly, before he took ill (he was struck down with dementia), he hadn’t had the chance rewrite the recipes and have been lost. So when I spotted this recipe, it brought back a lot of wonderful memories. Out of curiosity, would you have a recipe for Potato bread as well?

    • Gemma Stafford on December 7, 2017 at 2:09 am

      Hi there,
      what lovely memories you have of your Grandad. How sad that dementia became a part of his life, it is a very cruel disease.
      Potato bread was known as potato farls, it was a way to use up mashed potato. My Mum still makes this, combined with salt, pepper, an egg and flour, this is formed into a circle, cut into triangles and fried in butter! My Mum uses a self raising flour, so it puffs up, traditionally it would be made with either whole meal flour or plain white flour.
      My mum also adds warm, mashed potato to yeast breads! this makes a delicious moist bread.
      Potatoes in Ireland are a bit different to what I get here in the US. Very floury, it is how we like them, and what makes them easy to incorporate into a recipe.
      I have never heard of potato being combined with a soda bread, but I am going to try it! Remember too that these breads would have been baked in a bastible oven (Iron pot) over a fire, so the temperature and result would be different.
      Thank you for bringing this to me, I am intrigued!
      Gemma 🙂

  8. Raz on December 2, 2017 at 9:29 am

    What if I’m using the half amount of ingredients? Should I reduce the baking time?

    • Gemma Stafford on December 4, 2017 at 8:09 am

      Hi Raz,
      Yes! Think about it like this:
      For a scone you will bake in about 20 – 25 mins, hot oven (190 – 200C).
      For 1/2 loaf it will be a little longer than that.
      Tip: Mix, have the oven ready, and pop it right in, do not let it lie around,
      Gemma 🙂

  9. Carmen Chan on November 27, 2017 at 3:24 pm

    Hi Gemma, I have some buttermilk left from making butter from whipped cream. Can I use that? I don’t have enough of that so could I mix that buttermilk with your buttermilk recipe of milk and acid? I also love Irish Soda bread! My twin Sister lives in Ireland and love the soda bread there.

    • Gemma Stafford on November 28, 2017 at 1:43 am

      Hi Carmen,
      add the buttermilk to fresh milk, allow to stand at room temperature. It should culture the fresh milk. To be sure you can add a touch of lemon juice,
      Gemma 🙂

      • Carmen Chan on November 28, 2017 at 2:21 am

        Awesome! Thank you x

  10. ruth on November 9, 2017 at 8:19 am

    I love this bread! I made it a week ago. me and my dad ate it in 5 days. when it was done, it was dry. can you tell me how make it not as dry? unless it has to be.

    • Gemma Stafford on November 10, 2017 at 1:59 am

      Hi Ruth,
      Soda bread is best eaten within one day of making, it is the nature of it. Sometimes at home we would make it, allow it to get cold, slice it and freeze it in portions. Really in Ireland this is made almost on a daily basis. It will not be good after two days really,
      Gemma 🙂

  11. Rosa on August 16, 2017 at 3:19 am

    Hi Gemma

    This is my fourth attempt at a soda bread and it’s baking In the oven right now. I am a little skeptical about it because the dough was way softer then yours and I think it’s because Dutch buttermilk is thinner than yours because I’ve had the same problem with other Soda breads. Last weekend I made a soda bread with yoghurt and milk and that dough was more similar to yours. Should I use a little less buttermilk in the future?

    • Gemma Stafford on August 16, 2017 at 8:41 am

      Hi Rosa,
      This may have been your flour! Flour in different places absorbs liquids in different ways, depending on where, how, which variety of grain, and even when it is being milled. Next time add just enough to bring the flour together in a nice clean ball, then stop!
      It takes very little to go from too much to too little. The yogurt is not so liquid, so that will explain it, and it also os a great substitute for the buttermilk. I hope this makes sense, you will figure it out by practice!
      Gemma 🙂

  12. kynetonkid on July 30, 2017 at 2:40 am

    Wow! This was so delicious. Unfortunately I forgot to take a photo before the family demolished it all at dinner. Oh well I will just have to bake it again tomorrow:-)

    • Gemma Stafford on July 31, 2017 at 3:21 am

      Haha! that is great! what matters is that you enjoyed this recipe, thank you,
      Gemma 🙂

  13. melody on July 20, 2017 at 3:23 pm

    I live at 9000 ft. You said to be careful to not add too much baking soda. At my altitude what do you suggest? I always have to add more yeast when making yeast dough.

    • Gemma Stafford on July 22, 2017 at 11:42 am

      Hi Melody,
      This is a challenge! I started my baking career in the US when on a baking internship program in Tahoe! This was new to me, and I was perplexed!
      This would take me a long time to respond it, so I am going to point you to this site:, I think You will find this a great help, it is very well though out!
      Gemma 🙂

  14. Balentine on July 19, 2017 at 6:40 pm

    Is there any to make this with a non diary milk like soy or nut milks?

    • Gemma Stafford on July 20, 2017 at 2:19 am

      Hi there,
      Yes! you will need to add an acid ingredient, like vinegar/lemon juice or a vegan yogurt to give this the rise it needs.
      This is about the alkaline/acid balance in the recipe. ( You can make this in small quantities too, just for the recipe. Do let us know how you get on with this, we will be interested,
      Gemma 🙂

      • Balentine on July 21, 2017 at 4:13 pm

        Hi Jemma, it worked fine with soy milk . I have never had Irish Soda bread before so I have nothing to compare it to but it was good and will be wonderful with soups and stews

        • Gemma Stafford on July 22, 2017 at 4:50 am

          Thank you Kathie for trying this, and for letting me, and other bold bakers know. It really helps me to have your input, and it helps others too, i appreciate your efforts,
          Gemma 🙂

  15. Natalie Khalil on July 18, 2017 at 2:12 am

    This was my first attempt at making any sort of bread….. It actually worked! Was so proud of myself and had lovely bread to enjoy for a few days after. Will definitely be making this again 🙂 Thank you for sharing this recipe Gemma!

    • Gemma Stafford on July 18, 2017 at 2:34 am

      Hi Natalie,
      So good to hear this! This was such an every day bread in my home, and in most Irish families for generations, before there were supermarkets!
      This follows into the sweet version, which was usually made with white flour, a little sugar, and raisins, and this is depicious.
      Scones then, for a treat. That was as fancy as it got in many homes long ago!
      Now, you need to try the no knead dough, for pizza, cinnamon raisin bread, brioche, croissant etc!
      then the crazy dough too, you will be an expert baker in no time at all, and you will have loads of friends!! People love freshly baked breads, and that is a fact!
      Gemma 🙂

  16. Weston on July 3, 2017 at 9:57 pm

    I burned the top and I blessed it and the bread parted as wide as Noah did the red sea. All jokes aside, it tasted a lot better than store bought bread.

    • Gemma Stafford on July 4, 2017 at 3:04 am

      Haha! Weston, you are a joker!
      I am happy you enjoyed this loaf, it is such a tradition in Ireland, everyone has their own recipe! Now you have yours!
      Gemma 🙂

  17. Aathika on June 19, 2017 at 8:59 am

    I tried this today and the dough was too liquidy i added more plain flour and baked it It was looking really good but the inside. Was kind of like a cake I think i can turn it into like something else (bread pudding maybe. )do u know of anything which i can do to serve this tomorrow maybe. Anyway i love ur videos

    • Gemma Stafford on June 19, 2017 at 10:41 am

      Oh dear! This does not sound at all right!
      You usually cannot re-use this type of bread, it is generally meant to be eaten in a day or so. I am wondering what went wrong for you, how wet it was really! If you pour this into a loaf pan it will bake really well, but it should not be very wet. Usually for a bread you just add sufficient liquids to bring the dough together in a nice clean, but elastic dough, then STOP! Changing the ingredients in any way will change this too. I am sorry that this was a problem for you, I do not think you can so easily rescue it, but do try again. Follow the recipes closely, take a look back to see what may have one wrong this time,
      Gemma 🙂

  18. Joy on May 12, 2017 at 12:42 pm

    Hello Gemma, thank you for the delicious recipe! Once it was in the oven it seemed to be good, but when I was making the dough, it refused to come together and stayed very sticky and liquid-like (like cake batter). I was wondering if it was something I did? I think I followed the recipe itself pretty precisely, but the stickiness/liquidy-ness made my cross and fairy escape routes disappear and the bread exploded a little haha! It tasted great though!

    • Gemma Stafford on May 13, 2017 at 12:47 am

      Hi Joy,
      It takes very little extra liquids in flour to go from just right, to too wet! It is a case that flour in different places absorbs liquids in different ways, depending on where, when, how and type of wheat milled. So, just add sufficient liquids to flour to bring the dough together. If this happens again you can pour it into a loaf pan and bake it like that. The fairies get to stay in this loaf too!
      I hope this does not put you off, it is handy one when you get it right!
      Gemma 🙂

      • Joy on May 13, 2017 at 1:04 pm

        Hello Gemma, thank you for the response! That makes a lot of sense! I think I will try to vary the amount of liquid a little bit. The bread tasted great, thank you again for the great recipe!

  19. Sharonlys on May 8, 2017 at 7:35 am

    Hi Gemma, I chance upon your cooking on YouTube and now I glued to your website. I want to try your Irish soda bread as my first attempt. ? I’ve question about the ingredients,
    1) is it salted or unsalted butter?
    2) The packet of flour that I bought shows “plain flour and all purpose flour on the same packet. When I check on the ingredient for this flour, it printed “wheat flour”. Did I buy the right thing? is this wheat floor or all purpose floor?
    3) I couldn’t find any packing that says is wheat flour. Can I substitute wheat flour with wholemeal flour?
    Thanks in advance.

    • Gemma Stafford on May 8, 2017 at 12:17 pm

      Hi Sharon,
      Yes, it is confusing! Plain flour is all purpose flour, is wheat flour.
      Brown flour is whole wheat flour, which is less refined wheat flour.
      Salted butter works well in this recipe, but you can add a little salt if you use unsalted butter.
      Tip: Work fast, have your oven ready to bake, do not over mix! or over wet!
      Gemma 🙂

      • Sharonlys on May 8, 2017 at 3:42 pm

        Thanks Gemma. Another question, since the flour I’ve mentioned I bought is white, can I use wolwmeal flour to substitute whole wheat flour in your recipe to give the brown color? Or should I just stick to my white flour for both types of flour used in your recipe?

        • Gemma Stafford on May 9, 2017 at 2:18 am

          Hi Sharon,
          Yes, this is the same thing really!
          Gemma 🙂

  20. Dan on April 18, 2017 at 12:38 pm

    If I’m just making this for myself, are there different measurements you would suggest?
    I don’t think I could eat all that bread in one day!! … Or could I …..


    • Gemma Stafford on April 19, 2017 at 2:20 am

      Hi Dan,
      Good question! You can make this as a scone, that is divide this into sections, bake it off, divide and freeze what you do not want.
      you are right though, you may be tempted to eat it all! Brown bread is lovely toasted too, but is best eaten on the day it is made.
      Gemma 🙂

      • Dan on April 21, 2017 at 11:20 am

        I made this bread a couple of nights ago and it was honestly so lovely. First thing I’ve baked ever!
        If I half the ingredients will everything go okay?

        The bread was still okay for a couple of days after, but you’re right, it’s so much better on the day it’s made.

        • Gemma Stafford on April 22, 2017 at 1:00 am

          Hi Dan,
          Good job! delighted that the first thing you baked was a traditional Irish recipe.
          Yes, you can bake 1/2 of this. Traditionally this 1/2 cake would have been baked in a triangular shape, easy to cut!
          Good to have you with us, keep baking,
          Gemma 🙂

  21. Shreyas on March 29, 2017 at 6:50 am

    Hi Gemma,
    I always have been a fan of your recipes and am so happy on seeing this whole wheat bread so as we dont really use much AP flour here..☺
    I wanted to know how long this bread can be stored?How long will it last at around 30°C(room temperature here) without keeping it in a refrigerator?
    Thanks in advanced,

    • Gemma Stafford on March 29, 2017 at 8:10 am

      Hi there,
      This bread, or any soda bread/scones etc are best eaten on the day they are made. Traditionally this bread would have been made every day, with the remainder used up at breakfast. at warm room temperature it will do well for about 12 hours, It will not spoil, but it will not be at it’s best after this,
      Gemma 🙂

  22. Kate on March 26, 2017 at 7:50 am

    After trying so many recipes for soda bread and ending up with brick-bread, I found yours and IT’S AMAZING. My husband and I threw a belated St. Patricks day party and I made 4 loafs and while much of was devoured, I still have a bunch of sliced bread that I don’t wasn’t to go bad. Any ideas on using it for something other than toast? Thanks so much for all your recipes and tutorials!

    • Gemma Stafford on March 27, 2017 at 12:34 pm

      Hi Kate,
      The problem with soda bread is that it is best served fresh, or frozen when it is fresh.
      There are recipes for stuffings using this bread, and this salad would be good too (
      My Mum used to caramelize the crumbs and add them to an ice cream! I will ask her if she has this recipe, but it will not be quick enough for your need!
      Gemma 🙂

  23. Susan on March 19, 2017 at 8:16 am

    Hi Gemma,
    A GREAT soda bread recipe that be a little slice of heaven as airy as a fluffy cloud !!!!! Will surely replace any that I have made over the years with this one . The perfect slice to hold a nice slice of corned beef. I added 2 T of caraway seed as I like the flavor with the corned beef. I love ALL of you recipe’s and anxiously wait for every new one. Keep up the good work <3

    • Gemma Stafford on March 20, 2017 at 3:21 am

      Ah Great. I am so happy to hear that! Caraway seeds is where our ways will part lol! not my favorite flavor for some odd reason, but the corned beef!! heaven.
      Thank you for being with us,
      Gemma 🙂

      • Divya on October 24, 2017 at 9:06 am

        Can i skip the egg? Will it still turn out same and good?

        • Gemma Stafford on October 25, 2017 at 2:04 am

          Hi there,
          Yes, you certainly can. Do handle this mix really lightly, that is the secret,
          Gemma 🙂

  24. Steve Sheppard on March 17, 2017 at 8:04 am

    Hey Gemma! For clarification I had a question… your recipe calls for 2 tablespoons of lemon juice or vinegar for a cup of milk but in the question and answers you commented to someone about adding one teaspoon to one pint of milk. It was 2% milk but it confused me. Which is the proper mixture for one cup of 2% milk?

    • Gemma Stafford on March 17, 2017 at 10:38 am

      Hi Steve,
      2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice or white vinegar
      1 Cup (8oz / 224g) milk (full or low fat)
      The fat content is irrelevant.
      I will correct that comment if I can trace it, thank you,
      Gemma 🙂

  25. Mary Aris on March 16, 2017 at 6:24 am

    Gemma, I love All your tutorials! This is the BEST Irish Soda Bread I’ve ever found. Quick question: I have a fan assisted electric oven. What temperature should I bake this bread and for how long?

    • Gemma Stafford on March 17, 2017 at 12:55 pm

      Hi Mary,
      My Mum always bakes this at 200C fan. I tend to reduce it to 200C!
      A hot oven is usually the thing for bread, so, i suggest you try it, it will cook a little quicker, and should have a crisper crust!
      Then try it my way!
      Gemma 🙂

  26. Tony millis on March 10, 2017 at 12:07 pm

    Because first time try, measured ingreadiants carefully, before cooking looked perfect. However, disaster! did not rise at all ? Will try again. By the way i am 89 and my mother must be laughing. she was head cook in a convent in Dublin when she was fifteen ! . I remember her making soda bread nearly every day when i was a lad .

    • Gemma Stafford on March 11, 2017 at 4:44 am

      Hi Tony,
      Imagine your mother cooking in a convent at aged 15! how times have changed, this would be called slave labor now, and I suppose that is what is was.
      I am happy to have you with us. I am wondering if you left this bread around after it was mixed, and before baking? The soda will be spent if not popped into the oven right away. Work quickly too, not too much handling, just shaping really. this will do it for you. Don’t forget to let the fairies out!
      You Mum would be proud of you,
      Gemma 🙂

  27. Belle Simmons on March 8, 2017 at 10:50 pm

    Hi, Gemma! I just want to thank you for the recipe. My husband and I visited Ireland last year and ever since our return he’d been craving Irish soda bread. We tried it in numerous restaurants and I tried several recipes and he was always disappointed…until now. You’ve definitely helped to bring a taste of Ireland here for the rest of us to enjoy. We owe you a great thanks.

    • Gemma Stafford on March 10, 2017 at 5:22 am

      Hi Belle,
      I am really happy to hear that, thank you. I hope we were good to you and your husband in Ireland. I was home in February, and hope to return in June sometime. There is no place like home! though California feels like home to me too now!
      Gemma 🙂

      • Belle Simmons on March 10, 2017 at 6:46 pm

        The Irish are one of the most lovely and generous people we’ve met in our travels. So heartwarming! Many thanks to you and your Mammy! 🙂

        • Gemma Stafford on March 11, 2017 at 3:35 am

          Thank you Bella, i am happy to hear that. I will pass on your compliments to my ‘Mammy’lol,
          Gemma 🙂

  28. hania on March 2, 2017 at 8:52 am

    hi gemma! hope u are good .i just love your recipes..just wanted to knoow that can this bread be made in a loaf tin and in microwave

    • Gemma Stafford on March 3, 2017 at 11:58 am

      Hi Hania,
      NO! this recipe needs a really hot oven, a microwave will not do it!
      A loaf pan will work in a hot oven though, it is a good idea,
      Gemma 🙂

      • hania on March 6, 2017 at 1:38 am

        thank you so much..

        • hania on March 6, 2017 at 1:43 am

          I just read an above comment of yours that you are in Ireland…i realyy urge you to do a live with your mom..or a do a recipe video with her…..i am really a big fan of her too..

          • Gemma Stafford on March 7, 2017 at 9:20 am

            Hania, I think you were looking in my window in Ireland, I did indeed do a video with my Mum, I talked her into it! We will be showing you this one soon.
            I will tell her that she has a fan, she will be delighted, thank you,
            Gemma 🙂

  29. Rebecca on February 11, 2017 at 2:41 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. This is so easy and beautiful! I just made it for he first time to go with some soup. I cut off a test piece, with some cream cheese and jam, and it is so good! It was tempting to send you a picture, but it smelled to good not to try.

    I love the fact that your mother has shared this with all of us. The way you describe your mother while you were growing up is exactly how I want to be as a mother. These recipes make a beautiful legacy to pass along and you are a wonderful daughter to honor that legacy. I bet you would be just like her if you choose to become a mom.

    Anyway, I just wanted to tell you how much I appreciate your channel. You are inspiring me to bake more.

    • Gemma Stafford on February 13, 2017 at 9:06 am

      Hi Rebecca,
      That is so kind of you, thank you for your kind words.
      I am here in Ireland with my family right now, so I will be doing another video with my Mum soon.
      We were lucky, a happy busy household when I was a child, and great parents too, it does not get much better than that!
      I am happy that you tried the soda bread recipe, it is such a traditional one here in Ireland,
      Gemma 🙂

  30. Jennifer Vaughan on January 17, 2017 at 11:06 am

    Currently as I’m typing this my loaf is baking in the oven. I am 18 years old and this is the first from-scratch bread that I am making on my own. I’m so excited to see how it turns out. I saw the recipe on YouTube yesterday and I thought it looked easy enough so I decided to give it a go. It also made me happy inside and reminded me of my slight Irish heritage. I hope I like it and can re-create it on St. Patrick’s day!

    • Gemma Stafford on January 18, 2017 at 9:05 am

      Hi Jennifer, well done you! yes, it is difficult to extract the Irish out of people! we are everywhere 🙂
      I am happy that you tried this recipe, it is a good easy recipe, a little practice wil perfect it for you.
      St Patricks day is coming up fast, you will be the star of the show!
      Gemma 🙂

  31. Ila Sarwaye on November 4, 2016 at 10:46 pm

    Hi Gemma,
    I tried to make this bread whole wheat, andbaked it for a little longer, but the bread has turned out very lumpy. What should I do to fix it?

    • Gemma Stafford on November 5, 2016 at 3:55 am

      Did you follow the recipe? I am not clear about what you did, if you are saying you used all whole wheat flour, this will be a different result. Recipes are designed to be balanced. If I were using all whole wheat, I would use a different method. That will be 3/4 lb whole wheat flour, 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 tablespoon treacle, or honey, 1/2 pint of buttermilk (more if needed) an a tablespoon of yogurt. Mix all of the ingredients together, transfer to a loaf pan and bake at 220 degrees for about 30 mins. This is a sticky dough, add more milk if it is too dry. 🙂

  32. Aidan Berry on November 2, 2016 at 5:10 pm

    I love this recipe! I make this all the time and my irish grandparents LOVED it!

    • Gemma Stafford on November 3, 2016 at 2:55 am

      Hi Aidan, I am happy to hear that. Your name Berry, is a common name in Wexford where I came from. A name associated with traditional music, and horses!
      It is good to have you with us,
      Gemma 🙂

  33. Harry Edwards on October 20, 2016 at 5:25 pm

    Gemma, thank you so much for sharing your mother’s recipe. A few friends and I are gonna have a movie marathon tomorrow and u wanted to do some prep for it. Can I make the dough tonight and bake it in the morning?

    • Gemma Stafford on October 21, 2016 at 1:46 am

      Hi Harry, NO! do not do this as the raising agent begins to activate as soon as it is wet, and they will not rise so well. Prepare all of the dry ingredients in a plastic bag in the fridge, then just add the wet ingredients just before baking, this is what my Mum does too! 🙂

      • Harry Edwards on October 21, 2016 at 8:41 am


        Thank you.. This by far was the most amazing bread I’ve had.. Along with this and some fresh Irish tea and cranberry salad yummy… Thank you again.

        • Gemma Stafford on October 22, 2016 at 1:21 am

          Yum is right Harry! I am heading to the kitchen right now, lol. Gemma 🙂

  34. Tina on September 27, 2016 at 8:07 am

    I like ur Irish bread recipe. I want to try it but can I use any thing else except egg. Plz suggest.

    • Gemma Stafford on September 27, 2016 at 10:57 pm

      Hi Tina,

      Gladd you like it. You can just leave out the egg. Also incase you haven’t already seen it, for your future baking use my handy egg substitute chart 🙂

  35. Fabiana on September 21, 2016 at 12:26 pm

    I made this bread and it turned out amazing!!!! I never had Irish Soda bread before, and I love it!!!

    • Gemma Stafford on September 22, 2016 at 1:17 am

      That is great, it is such a quick and simple bread – great with soups, salads etc, and delicious with jam! 🙂

  36. Kathy on August 29, 2016 at 9:41 pm

    Hi Gemma,

    Is it ok if I use 2% or 1% milk to make the buttermilk?


    • Gemma Stafford on August 30, 2016 at 2:07 am

      Hi Kathy,
      You can choose, I usually use 2% for most purposes at home,
      Gemma 🙂

  37. jippolit on August 11, 2016 at 7:54 am

    This bread came out wonderful!

    We had to make a slight adjustment for altitude and/or flour moisture–a little less buttermilk or a little more flour. Otherwise, delicious.

    The fares were released well into the air in our kitchen here in Costa Rica! Wonderful aroma!!!

    • Gemma Stafford on August 11, 2016 at 10:17 am

      Hi there,
      that is great, i forgot about the altitude! I need to gen up on the mysteries of high altitude baking!
      Gemma 🙂

  38. Janie13 on July 27, 2016 at 4:12 am

    Hi Gemma! I wonder if I can substitute the plain flour and only use whole wheat flour!? And do I need more baking soda then? Greetings from bread-nation germany 😀

    • Gemma Stafford on July 28, 2016 at 4:19 am

      Hi Janie,
      This bread will need a little white flour, or another ‘flour’ to lighten it, or it will be too dense.
      450g coarse wholemeal flour
      50g rolled oats
      1 tsp salt
      1 level tsp bicarbonate of soda
      1 tbsp treacle
      1 egg
      450ml buttermilk (or sour milk)
      If I am making this recipe I use a loaf tin as it will be a wetter mixture, and it needs to be. So, pour into a buttered loaf tin and bake for about 45 mins at 220 degrees.
      Try this!
      Gemma 🙂

      • Janie13 on July 28, 2016 at 11:13 am

        Thank you!!! It’s very delicious 😀

        • Gemma Stafford on July 28, 2016 at 11:24 am

          That is so good to hear, Gemma 🙂

  39. Aidan Berry on July 7, 2016 at 5:54 pm

    What a great recipe! I have made this several times and my family loves it when we smother it with homemade jam and Irish butter!

    • Gemma Stafford on July 8, 2016 at 2:31 am

      Hi Aidan,
      This is a great quick standby for teatime, it sounds like you have that down!
      Berry is a great Wexford name, which is where I come from in Ireland, perhaps you know that?
      Gemma 🙂

  40. Monisha on June 11, 2016 at 11:42 pm

    Hello Gemma!
    I tried this recipe today. The bread was nice and crispy on the outside and when I tapped the bottom,it sounded hollow as it should but the bread inside was doughy and dense. The same thing happened for an another recipe that I tried previously. I’d like to know where I’m going wrong.
    I’m a big fan, btw =D

    • Gemma Stafford on June 12, 2016 at 1:38 am

      Hi Monisha,
      It sounds like you are using the wrong oven temperature. This dough should go straight into the hot oven as soon as it is ready, otherwise the raising agent will activate and the bread will fail. The dough needs to be soft. The rise starts immediately, and you will find that the inside will bake almost before the loaf browns. So, I think you may have an oven temperature issue, somehow, especially if this has happened with other recipes,
      Gemma 🙂

  41. Chitrangi Verma on June 8, 2016 at 3:36 am

    Hi Gemma,
    I have been following your channel on YouTube for quite some time now and i simply love every recipe even though I haven’t tried them all. You really keep me motivated even though I suck at cooking or baking 😛 but I never give up.
    I just wanted to thank you for sharing all the amazing recipes and wish you good luck for the good work you’re doing.
    Thanks a ton to you and your mother 🙂

    • Gemma Stafford on June 9, 2016 at 3:17 am

      Hi Chitrangi,
      Thank you for your kind comments, and for being in touch. I will pass on your thanks to my Mum too, she will be delighted. Keep at the baking, it is a skill which improves greatly with practice, and practice involves some disasters, this is how you will learn,
      Gemma 🙂

  42. Debbie on May 14, 2016 at 7:25 am

    I’m just starting to make breads and this one looked uncomplicated so I figured I give it a shot. 1st attempt disaster. 2nd time is now in the oven and looking good. You just make this look so easy. Just so you know my next attempt will be your scones. I’m of Irish decent but not a lot of exposure to the culture. Learning something new every day 🙂

    • Gemma Stafford on May 16, 2016 at 1:48 pm

      Hi Debbie,
      We will make a Cailin out of you yet!
      This bread was such a staple in Ireland, yeast was either not generally available, or simply not traditional, but every family had their own soda bread recipe. Maybe this was your family one too? hope the scones work out for you too,
      Gemma 🙂

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