Traditional Irish Soda Bread

Posted on February 28, 2020
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Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day!

Anyone who knows me knows that I am really in love with my Irish heritage. I love everything about it, from the music to the dance to the food. And while corned beef and cabbage seems to be the reigning champion of St. Paddy’s Day recipes in the US, I prefer to make a traditional soda bread and a hearty bowl of beef stew!

This recipe was given to me by a dear friend, who received it from her Irish grandma. Soda bread is different from one family to the next, so you might want to add currants, or even cranberries, nuts, whatever strikes your fancy! Since I like mine with soup, I make it plain and slather it with delicious Kerrigold butter!


  • 4 Cups All Purpose or Bread Flour
  • 4 Tbsp Granulated White Sugar
  • 1 Tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 Tbsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Tsp Kosher Salt
  • 3/4 Kerrigold Irish Butter
  • 1 1/4 Cup Buttermilk *
  • 1 Egg
  • Shortening


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a baking sheet with shortening and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, sift together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Cut in 1/2 cup softened butter, until mixture is crumbly and well incorporated.

Add 1 cup buttermilk* and egg. Mix until a thick dough is formed. Turn out dough onto lightly floured surface, and knead until dough is no longer crumbly and dry. Form into a round, domed mound and place on greased baking sheet.

Melt remaining butter, and mix with remaining buttermilk. Brush generously over the surface of the dough. Using a sharp knife, cut a deep cross into the top.

(optional) To honor the traditions of my ancestors, I like to poke a hole in each of the 4 corners of the top of the dough as well, to let any fairies out that might have become trapped. 😉

Bake in a preheated oven at 375 degrees for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean. I start checking mine at the 30 minute mark, but cooking time will depend on what you put in your soda bread.

Enjoy this with jam in the morning, or stew in the evening!

* You can substitute the buttermilk for 1 tbsp of vinegar, and enough milk to make 1 cup. Let it sit for 5 minutes, and you’ll have buttermilk!