Recipes: Traditional Irish Soda Bread

When I first began baking, I was terrified of recipes that involved yeast. Traditional bread was simply too complex for me even to wrap my head around. Because of this fear I began to rely on quick breads, or breads that typically do not require yeast, to learn. Zucchini bread, pumpkin loaves, and Irish soda bread became staples for my weekend baking adventures.

These days I make Irish Soda Bread every St. Patrick’s Day. Its simplicity, and rustic qualities make it easy to prepare and easy to eat. Paired with stews or prepared as your breakfast toast, this recipe is divine, simple and festive!


3 cups bleached all-purpose flour, plus more for your working surface

1 cup cake flour

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 ½ teaspoons baking soda

1 ½ teaspoons cream of tartar

1 ½ teaspoons table salt

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

1 ½ cups buttermilk, at room temperature


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Whisk together flours, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt in a large mixing bowl. Work softened butter into the flour mixture with a fork or your fingers until its texture resembles coarse crumbs.
  3. Add buttermilk and stir with a fork until the dough just comes together – do not over stir! Turn onto your work surface prepared with flour and knead, 12 to 14 turns.
  4. Pat dough into a round, 6-inch loaf and place onto a greased baking sheet or in a cast-iron pot. Cut a cross shape into the top.
  5. Bake until golden and when an inserted toothpick comes out clean, 40-45 minutes. Remove from oven and brush with melted butter; cool to room temperature.