Grandma’s Irish Soda Bread

Irish Soda Bread

If there’s anything that reminds me of my grandmother, it’s bread. Delicious, warm, soft, fresh-from-the-oven bread. The kind that melts butter as you spread it, and is so warm and comforting you feel like you could eat a whole loaf. You shouldn’t, of course, but you want to. I have fond memories of baking bread of all kinds in my grandmother’s kitchen – sandwich bread, french bread, and one of my favourites: soda bread. This has become a family favourite in the Blissful kitchen, too. My husband loves it and requests it often, and my kids devour it when it’s put in front of them. A loaf doesn’t last long around here!

Irish Soda Bread

And what better time to make this true Irish bread than for St. Patrick’s Day? This is a real soda bread, not the Americanized cake version that involves eggs and dried fruit. This is the kind of soda bread you’d find on a farmhouse table at dinner. It’s a simple bread – there is none of the fuss or delicate rising times of yeasted breads. If you have half an hour and all the ingredients, you can have it on the table in time for dinner. It doesn’t keep well and it isn’t a great sandwich bread, but it’s perfect alongside a hearty soup or stew, or just eating with a pat of butter and dollop of jam.

Irish Soda Bread

My grandmother passed away a little over a year ago, and there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t miss her. I am lucky enough to have some of her recipes, ones that she shared with me once I was grown and had a house of my own to run. This loaf is one of hers, one that I remember making with her, one that baked in the oven while a stew bubbled on the stovetop, one that was passed around that great kitchen table of hers as we all sat down to dinner. If you make it, I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Irish Soda Bread

Irish Soda Bread

Please note: I have posted a correction to this recipe – I transposed my notes incorrectly, it should be 2 Tbsp baking powder, 1 tsp baking soda. My apologies! ~ Samantha

Grandma’s Irish Soda Bread

2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups white flour
2 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp salt
2 cups buttermilk {maybe a little more}

Preheat oven to 375F. Prepare a baking sheet by lightly greasing it.

Sift together dry ingredients. Stir in just enough buttermilk to make a soft, shaggy dough. {2 cups of buttermilk is usually enough, but if your dough is dry, you may need a little more.}

Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until it comes together into a smooth dough. Shape into a flat round, about 8 inches across, and place the round gently on the prepared baking sheet. Score with a sharp knife, brush with water, and sprinkle with flour. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until loaf sounds hollow when tapped with your fingertips.

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14 thoughts on “Grandma’s Irish Soda Bread

    1. Cheryl

      Hi Samantha, Getting ready to make your Grandma’s Irish Soda Bread to go along with our annual St Patrick’s Day dinner of Corned Beef and Cabbage. Am I reading it right that it calls for 2 tablespoons of baking soda? My husband tells me that’s why it is called Soda Bread, but I just had to check since a lot of other recipes I have seen call for 1 to 11/2 teaspoons. Thank you. Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

      Reply
      1. Samantha Post author

        Yes, that’s right! I noticed the same, but I guess my grandmother liked lots of baking soda in her recipe.

        Reply
        1. Samantha Post author

          My mistake – I checked my original notes, it should be 2 Tbsp baking POWDER, 1 tsp baking soda. I am so sorry for this mistake!

          Reply
          1. Samantha Post author

            It’s not you! So sorry I didn’t get the correction up in time. My husband is now proofreading all my recipe posts!

  1. Rachel

    I don’t have an whole wheat flour at home…could you make it with 4 Cups all-purpose flour instead? Looks good!

    Reply
    1. Samantha Post author

      I’ve never tried, but probably! I would start with a little less liquid, I find that subbing WW flour usually requires me to add more liquid, so I presume subbing white will require a little less.

      Reply
    1. Samantha Post author

      Thank you, Julie! Coming from you, that’s a true compliment, and I am totally grinning like a fool now!

      Reply
  2. Pingback: Guinness chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting – St. Patrick’s Day dessert | Okanagan Mama Living in Calgary

  3. Katie

    Mine came out terrible. I made it twice exactly like the recipe said. I make bread at the time so I know it wasn’t me. I won’t be making this again. Very disappointed.

    Reply
    1. Samantha Post author

      I’m sorry it didn’t work for you. I just checked my notes, and I’m afraid I may have made a mistake in transposing my chicken-scratch in my kitchen notebook onto my blog. I amended the recipe to reflect what it should be.

      Reply

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