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A cast iron skillet of just-baked Irish soda bread.

Super Simple Irish Soda Bread

  • Author: Alexandra Stafford
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 1 loaf


This recipe is inspired by this one from Simply Recipes. I add more salt — I find 2 teaspoons of salt for every 4 cups of flour to be about right. And instead of working 4 tablespoons of butter into the dough as you would for biscuits or scones, I use 2 tablespoons of melted butter. This Irish soda bread still resembles a biscuit but has less of that biscuity/scone feel. If you want to use whole grain flour in your soda bread, use these ingredients, which are inspired by an America’s Test Kitchen recipe, in place of the 4 cups all-purpose flour:

  • 2 cups (256 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1½ cups (192 g) whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup (55 g) wheat germ


  • 4 cups (510 g) all-purpose flour, see notes above for making it whole grain
  • 2 teaspoons (10 g) kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 egg
  • 1¾ cups buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • room temperature butter for greasing
  • flour for dusting


  1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Whisk together the flour, salt, sugar, and baking soda.
  2. In a medium bowl, beat the egg and buttermilk. Add the melted butter and stir to combine. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir with a rubber spatula until combined. Mixture will be sticky. Grease a 9- or 10-inch cast iron skillet (or other similarly sized vessel) with softened butter. Set aside.
  3. Lightly flour your hands and sprinkle a little flour over the sticky dough ball. Use your hands to scrape the dough from the sides of the bowl and to quickly shape the mass into a ball, kneading lightly if necessary. Transfer to prepared skillet. Sprinkle with a teensy bit more flour. Use a sharp knife to make an X across the top of the dough ball. Place in oven and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until lightly golden and bottom sounds hollow when tapped. Remove from oven, transfer to cooling rack, and let cool for 15 minutes before slicing.
  • Category: Bread
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: Irish

Keywords: soda bread, St. Patrick's Day, Irish, buttermilk