Irish Soda Bread is a treat any time, but especially for St. Patrick’s Day!

It literally takes 10 minutes to mix and throw in the oven!

In Ireland it goes with almost any meal, it’s a “slop up the stew” kind of bread and is best right out of the oven.

I added cranberries, walnuts and a little orange rind to make it more of a Celebration Bread. 

The native wheat in Ireland is too soft to respond well to yeast. They took a clue from Native Americans who used a wood ash to leaven their bread instead of yeast. The Irish began using a mixture of buttermilk and baking soda to replace the yeast.

Are you ready to dig in with your hands?

You can cut the butter in however you like, but it’s faster and easier to just use your hands and break the butter clumps apart.


If you are adding in the fruit and nuts, mix it into the flour mixture at this point. Coating the fruit in flower helps it to disperse evenly throughout the bread.

Whisk the egg into the milk and add to dry ingredients. DO NOT OVER MIX.

Place dough on floured surface and form into a round loaf. Sprinkle with additional flour if needed.


Place on buttered baking sheet or iron skillet. Use a sharp knife to score a deep cross in the top of the loaf. This is done so that the bread will bake evenly.

Bake for 50-55 minutes.

The bread will be nice and crusty and sound hollow if you tap the bottom.

Let it sit for 10 minutes and then slice and serve with butter. Or a delicious stew!


Irish Soda Bread

A fast and easy bread that is great with any meal!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Course Bread, Breakfast, Brunch


  • 4 cups white flour
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 6 Tablespoons cold butter
  • cups cold buttermilk
  • 1 large egg


  • 1 Tablespoon orange rind
  • 1 cup cranberries or raisins
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts


  • Preheat oven to 375°.
  • Mix all dry ingredients together.
  • Cut in butter. Use hands to mix the butter in until the mixture is grainy.
  • *If adding orange rind, cranberries and nuts, mixt into dry mixture at this point.
  • In separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and egg.
  • Add to flour mixture and mix just until dry ingredients are incorporated. The dough will be lumpy,
  • Place dough onto floured surface and use hands to create a round loaf. Sprinkle with additional flour if needed.
  • Place onto buttered sheet pan or iron skillet.
  • Use a sharp knife to cut a deep X into top of bread. This helps the bread to bake evenly.
  • Bake for 50-55 minutes. The bread should have a well formed crust and will sound hollow when you tap on the bottom of the loaf.
  • Allow to cool on a rack for 10 minutes. Slice and serve with butter.


Irish Soda Bread should be eaten in the first couple of days. It is definitely best fresh. If you wrap it well you can store it in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Keyword baking, bread, irish, soda