Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Cindy Barr
1 loaf, 12 servings (serving size: 1 slice)

"My mother, Elizabeth O'Connell, now 82, still makes this soda bread every day," says Allen.

Scoring a deep cross into the surface of the dough is called "blessing the bread." Because the bread uses baking soda as a leavener, it requires minimal kneading and no rising, so you can bake it just before supper and serve it warm.

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 450°.

Step 2

Lightly spoon flours into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flours, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl; stir with a whisk. Make a well in center of mixture. Add buttermilk to flour mixture; stir until blended (dough will be sticky). Turn dough out onto a generously floured surface; knead lightly 4 to 5 times. Shape dough into an 8-inch round loaf; place on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Cut a 1/4-inch-deep X in the top of the dough.

Step 3

Bake at 450° for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 400° (do not remove bread from oven); bake 15 minutes or until loaf sounds hollow when tapped. Cool on a wire rack.

Ratings & Reviews

modified recipe

March 27, 2017
I added 3 tablespoons of blackstrap molasses to the buttermilk. It makes a darker brown color and adds a touch of sweetness. Remember not to over knead your dough; it will produce too much gluten and toughen it.

ttsholland's Review

May 10, 2012
excellent and so easy! 1% buttermilk works well, I baked it for 17min, I like to add caraways seed to it too

laebrown's Review

March 22, 2011
Paired this with Irish Colcannon, and it was a fantastic duo! It took at least an extra 15 minutes in the oven to properly cook...the first time I took it out it was still dough in the middle. Really hearty, filling bread, and feeds a lot! I'd make it again, considering how easy it was, but probably for more of a weeknight meal than for guests. Bon appetit! :D

GayleR's Review

March 17, 2011
Very dry and flour-y tasting. Won't make again.

Teagal's Review

November 10, 2009
Just made this bread to go with CL Irish Colcannon & Tyme Leaf Soup. It was so simple and the results were very satisfying. I love that it contains whole wheat flour. Other soda breads I have eaten did not. I can definiately see myself making this again with soup or a comfort-style meal. Part of it's appeal is how easy it is to make. I spent way more time making rolls for a special dinner this last weekend that weren't as good as this. The ingredients are simple too, I usually have everything it calls for on hand.

Jensuscam's Review

May 30, 2009
I like this recipe better than other soda bread recipes I've used, which usually call for whole wheat flour only. I was low on all-purpose flour, so I subbed 1/2 cup corn flour for 1/2 cup of the all-purpose. I also added 1.5tsp brown sugar. It turned out fantastic. I'll have it with eggs for breakfast and with soup for dinner.

skeffs's Review

March 21, 2009
Fab! Just fab! Baked this bread for Irish hubby last week and he was over the moon. Baked it again tonight for dinner with Irish, French, Swiss, Canadians, Dutch and Australians. Served with smoked salmon as starter, with meal and with cheese. Nothing but rave reviews. Very forgiving recipe too. I never measured flour and buttermilk too exactly. Also added full package of baking powder (16 grams) because I wasn't sure whether baking soda and baking powder/poudre à lever were the same thing. All 4 loaves came out beautiful. Everyone wanted the recipe. Thank you!

laugh462's Review

March 17, 2009
I really love soda bread and this one is wonderful. If you think it needs more flavor, a tablespoon or two of brown sugar is all it needs! Raisins for special occasions, but not really necessary. Awesome with an irish stout stew!

lollypaul's Review

March 15, 2009
Good recipe, not a lot of taste, but I used lite salt, so maybe that's why. (We had enough with the corned beef we had with it.) I make a beer bread that's similar, but has a little sugar in it. Not having had traditional Irish soda bread, I thought it was good enough to make again.