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

Super Simple Irish Soda Bread

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4.9 from 68 reviews


Inspired by Simply Recipes 

This easy Irish soda bread requires only 5 minutes of hands-on time to stir together flour, salt, sugar, baking soda, one egg, buttermilk, and butter. It emerges from the oven with the perfect crumb. No yeast used! Ready in 1-hour. Video guidance below! ☘️☘️☘️☘️

If you want to use whole grain flour in your soda bread, see the notes below the recipe.

If you need to make the buttermilk from scratch:

  1. Place 2 tablespoons of vinegar or lemon juice in a 2-cup liquid measure.
  2. Fill cup with milk (2% or whole is best) until it reaches the 1.75-cup line.
  3. Let stand for five to 10 minutes. Stir. 

If you want to use sourdough discard in place of some of the flour/liquid, you can use 100 grams of sourdough discard, 460 grams of flour, 12 grams salt, 13 grams sugar, 5 grams baking soda, 1 egg, 360 grams buttermilk, 2 tablespoons melted butter.  Follow the same method outlined in the directions. Watch the video here for guidance.


For the Irish Soda Bread:

  • 4 cups (510 g) all-purpose flour, see notes below for making it whole grain
  • 2 teaspoons (12 g) kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon (13 g) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon (5 g) baking soda
  • 1 cup dried currants, optional 
  • 1 egg
  • 1¾ cups (410 g) buttermilk, see notes above
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter

For finishing:

  • room temperature butter
  • flour 


  1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Whisk together the flour, salt, sugar, baking soda, and currants (if using).
  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.
  4. To store Irish soda bread, tuck it into an airtight bag (such as a ziplock) or an airtight vessel. You can store it at room temperature for about 3-4 days or freeze it for up to 2-3 months.


For Whole Wheat Irish Soda, Use These Proportions:

  • 2 cups (256 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1½ cups (192 g) whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup (55 g) wheat germ
  • These proportions are inspired by an America’s Test Kitchen recipe.
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Category: Bread
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: Irish