Traditional Irish Soda Bread

Traditional Irish Soda Bread

What's on the menu at your homeschool this St. Patrick's Day? Thinking about experiencing a bit of Irish history and culture this year by serving some savory Irish stew, shepherd's pie, or the ever-popular corned beef and cabbage? Whatever food entrée sounds appealing at your house on March 17, nothing will complement it better than some easy-to-make, mouth-watering Irish soda bread.

Although versions with sugar and raisins have evolved over the years, the best-tasting Irish soda bread recipe to include with your St. Patrick's Day celebration meal is still the old fashioned one below that only includes the basic ingredients. Crunchy on the outside and moist on the inside, this kid-friendly recipe doesn't take any luck of the Irish to make. Simply head to the kitchen with your family, schedule a homeschooling lesson in bread baking, and enjoy the fun of making and eating this round loaf of traditional Irish soda bread.


3 cups all-purpose flour
1½ tsp baking soda
1½ tsp salt
1½ cups buttermilk

For basting
¼ cup buttermilk
¼ cup butter (melted)


Step 1: Preheat oven to 350º.

Step 2: Stir the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.

Step 3: In the center of the bowl, make a "well" and add one cup of the buttermilk.

Step 4: Mix the dry ingredients and buttermilk with a fork and gradually add the remaining ½ cup of buttermilk until a soft dough is formed.

Step 5: On a floured surface, knead the dough lightly for about one minute and form the dough into a slightly flattened circle.

Step 6: Place the dough on a greased cookie sheet and lightly baste the bread with the buttermilk and butter mixture.

Step 7: With a sharp knife, mark a large X one half inch deep and bake the soda bread in the preheated oven for 40-45 minutes. Continue to lightly brush the loaf with the butter mixture while it bakes. The bread is done baking when it is golden and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.

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Comments(5 comments)

ELIZABETH J 03/04/2010 08:48:38

wow this sounds so easy! Thnx so much for the great kid friendly recipe, I know my kids will have a blast making this bread. The only problem is going to be 'waiting' unitl March 17 LOL Maybe we can have a St. Patricks week? mmm!

SUSAN M 03/04/2010 12:15:14

Where's the recipe for corn beef & cabbage? : )

ALAN T 03/05/2010 13:34:39

Hi guys, this looks like a great authentic recipe. And I have some authority on the subject since I run a small bakery and teach bread making here in Timoleauge West Cork.

However if I may offer you some advice on the method. I would avoid kneading the dough at all. As a general rule the less you handle soda bread the better. Our method is simply to mix, tip onto a floured tray, flour the top (just to help the dough hold it's shape), cut the cross in the top and bake at a moderate heat for 40 min approx depending on the size of the loaf. Also the wetter the mix is the better. It should be light fluffy an sublime!

And guys corned beef?? The only time I ever ate corn beef was in England. Try a sea bream and scallop chowder instead, much more traditional. Happy baking Alan

MARY LYN L 03/15/2010 23:53:13

Corned Beef and Cabbage

Get some corned beef at the store. Chop up a head or 2 of cabbage and stew it all in a crock pot until meat is tender, a few hours. Might want to cook it a while before adding the cabbage. Tastes good with carrots, too. Cabbage cooks down so there will be less of it than you thought when it is done.

LISA K 03/17/2010 06:06:26

I make my corned beef and cabbage this way: Stick it in the crock pot! that is all! Here is step by step:

Put a cb brisket in the crock pot on high for a few hours (half a day) then low for the rest. (I do not add the pickling spice pack they include).

Add 1/2 head (or more) of green cabbage to it sometime before or around the time you turn it down to low.

I have also cut up red potatoes in chunks and put them in over the brisket and under the cabbage.

Could not be easier and so delicious!!! it falls apart...yum! no seasoning rquired.

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