White Soda Bread is tender, soft, yeast-free, and can be made in just 35 minutes! The traditional Irish loaf is made with four simple ingredients: white flour, baking soda, salt, and buttermilk.
White soda bread is a traditional Irish yeast-free bread that can be made in just 35 minutes! No kneading, no rising time. Just mix it all together and bake!
My parents are Irish, so I grew up on this bread. It's so easy to make, so it often graced our table. The smell is incredible and it tastes wonderful, whether spread with butter and jam in the morning, or enjoyed with dinner.
You're going to love this bread too, I'm sure!
This really is the simplest bread you can make. And the results are soft, tender, and tasty. Perfect spread with Irish butter.
You should also be sure to try out Wheaten Bread, a wholewheat version of this soda bread.
Soda bread is a type of quick bread that is made with baking soda instead of yeast.
This means that the bread does not need to rise, making it a great option for those who are short on time!
Soda bread is also can be made with whole wheat flour, but white soda bread uses white flour instead.
This traditional Irish bread has been around for centuries and was originally made as a way to use up leftover buttermilk.
Buttermilk is a by-product of butter making and was traditionally used in baking as it gives baked goods a lovely moist texture. If you want to make soda bread without buttermilk, then you can! Simply use milk with a little vinegar or lemon juice stirred in.
This recipe has easy steps that anyone can follow! Add all ingredients to a bowl, then form a ball with your hands. Shape it up and bake until crisp on the outside and warm and tender on the inside.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
This yeast-free bread requires no time for rising making it a fast quick bread.
The entire batch of white soda bread contains four very simple ingredients.
You can add in seasonings, nuts, or dried fruit to change up the flavor.
Enjoy it at breakfast with butter and jam or use it as a fun way to soak up yummy soup broth or vegetable stew.
- All-Purpose Flour / Plain Flour - Creates the structure of the bread making it easy to slice and serve.
- Baking Soda - Also known as bicarb of soda, this ingredient helps the bread rise when baked without any yeast.
- Salt - Helps flavor the bread.
- Buttermilk - A by-product of butter making, buttermilk helps make the bread tender and moist. Or add 2 teaspoons of lemon juice or white vinegar to the milk and let it sit for a few minutes to turn into 'buttermilk'.
Please see the recipe card below for quantities.
Wondering how to make this White Soda Bread recipe? It's easy! Just follow this step-by-step photo tutorial. Then, scroll down for the recipe card for the full ingredients list and recipe method.
Prepare for baking: Preheat the oven to 375F/180C. Line a sheet pan or dutch oven with parchment paper. Set aside.
Whisk the dry ingredients: Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together in a mixing bowl.
Form the dough: Add the buttermilk and stir to combine. Use your hands to bring it together into a workable ball.
Shape the dough: Place it on the prepared baking sheet, and pat it into a round. Slash a deep cross through the round of dough.
Bake, cool, and serve: Bake for 30 minutes or until the bread rises and is golden on the outside. Cool on a wire rack, then slice and enjoy.
Don't have buttermilk on hand? Mix whole milk with 2 teaspoons white vinegar or lemon juice stirred in and leave it for a few minutes to thicken slightly. Use as a 1:1 substitute for buttermilk.
If needed use a bit more buttermilk when forming the dough to create a ball of dough that is easy to work with but not sticky.
You need to cut a cross in the dough before baking. This is important because it allows the heat to evenly penetrate the loaf while baking.
Your homemade Irish soda bread is best eaten within 2 days. After the first day or two, it will be a little dry, but you can toast it!
This recipe is very forgiving. If you have a few types of flour left to use up, then you can use a mixture - I do it all the time! Perhaps a little whole wheat flour, some bread flour and a bit of all-purpose. It all works, just make sure you have the correct total amount.
You can use your white soda bread just like any artisan loaf. Spread it with butter or jam, or dunk it into soup or stews.
Serve alongside a heap of Irish Colcannon Potatoes.
Use it as the base for Mushrooms on Toast.
Use for dipping alongside a bowl of Kale and Ale Stew.
Add fresh or dried herbs to the dough before baking including rosemary, thyme, or sage.
Stir in a cup of shredded cheddar cheese and crumbled bacon for savory bread.
Add a cup of chopped nuts or seeds such as walnuts, pecans, pumpkin seeds, or sunflower seeds.
Stir a cup of raisins, currants, or diced dried fruit to the dry ingredients to add texture and sweetness.
For a sweeter loaf, brush the top with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar before baking.
Storing: This bread is best served immediately as it will dry out over time. Store any leftovers in a plastic bag or wrapped in foil at room temperature for up to two days and toast before serving.
Freezing: Wrap the cooled loaf tightly in plastic wrap, place it in a freezer-safe bag, and store it in the freezer for up to three months. Thaw overnight on the counter before serving.
Soda bread is made without yeast which means it does not need time to rise. It also uses baking soda as a leavening agent instead of yeast. White bread is made with white flour, water, yeast, and salt and needs time to rise.
This particular recipe for white soda bread is made with white flour, but you could easily substitute with whole wheat flour for a healthier loaf. Soda bread is also lower in calories and fat than most yeast bread.
Soda bread is traditionally served with Irish stew or other hearty soups and stews. It can also be enjoyed as a simple snack with butter or jam.
Soda bread is best eaten within the first day or two after it's baked. After that, it's best toasted before serving. If you need to store it for longer, freeze it using the instructions above.
More Irish Recipes
Sign up for our free newsletter and never miss a recipe!
Plus, you'll get a free eBook: 15 Minute Vegan Dinners!
White Soda Bread
- 3 cups (500g) all purpose flour / plain flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda (bicarb of soda)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ cups (350ml) buttermilk (or milk with 2 teaspoons white vinegar or lemon juice stirred in and left for a few minutes to thicken slightly)
- Preheat the oven to 375°F / 180°C.
- Whisk the flour, soda and salt together in a mixing bowl.
- Add the buttermilk and stir to combine. Use your hands to bring it together into a workable ball. If necessary add a little more flour or buttermilk/milk.
- Add the dough to a baking sheet lined with baking paper and pat it into a round.
- Slash a deep cross through the round of dough (this will help it to cook properly).
- Bake for 30 minutes or until risen, golden and cooked through.
- Cool on a wire rack, then slice and enjoy.
- Tip: Soda bread is best eaten within 2 days. After the first day, it is best toasted as it can dry out.
The nutritional information provided is approximate and can vary depending on several factors, so is not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietician for special diet advice.