Learn to make Irish soda bread using just 6 simple ingredients. Ready in minutes, you’ll love the gorgeous crust and fluffy texture.
Why buy your bread when you can make it yourself?
Contrary to popular belief, bread does NOT need yeast, a bread maker, or hours-upon-hours to bake. This Irish staple is proof that it’s easy, delicious, and super quick.
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The best Irish soda bread
This soda bread recipe was a staple in my household in my younger years. Good crusty bread was hard to find (I grew up in a small town!), so mom would always make this loaf once a week. Now that I live in a thriving metropolitan city, I still continue to make my own!
- It’s budget-friendly. It is made using easily available and inexpensive ingredients.
- Easy. Anyone with basic kitchen experience can make this. No extensive baking experience is required.
- Quick-bread. As one of the best quick bread, the leavening is done fairly quickly compared to yeast-based bread.
What I love most about this recipe is its versatility. It goes great with bread spreads like butter, jam, or vegan cream cheese. You can even use it for sandwiches!
This recipe calls for basic pantry staple ingredients that you’ll likely have on hand. Here is what you’ll need:
- Flour. Plain flour or whole wheat flour. I like to use a mix of both.
- Baking soda. Helps the bread to rise.
- Maple syrup. To taste.
- Salt. To taste.
- Vegan buttermilk. Made by combining unsweetened almond milk and apple cider vinegar. A must when working with bread that doesn’t contain yeast or milk.
See the recipe card below for full details.
How to make Irish soda bread
Step 1: Mix ingredients and preheat the oven.
In a mixing bowl, whisk up your sugar, salt, bicarbonate of soda, and flour till combined thoroughly, and preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C).
Step 2: Prepare the dough
In a separate bowl, combine the unsweetened almond milk and apple cider vinegar. Stir well and let it sit for a few minutes. This will create a vegan buttermilk that will help the bread rise and become tender. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the vegan buttermilk mixture. Add the maple syrup. Mix them well until you achieve a dough consistency.
Step 3: Shape the dough and cut a cross
To prevent the wet dough from sticking flour up a flat surface, shape it into a slightly flattened round loaf and sprinkle some dry flour while you are at it.
Step 4: Bake the bread
Transfer the loaf to a baking sheet/tray before you put it in the preheated oven. Use a sharp knife to make a deep “X” on the top of the loaf. Bake for about 15 minutes at 425°F (220°C). Then reduce the oven temperature to 400°F (200°C) and continue baking for another 20-25 minutes or until the bread is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.
Step 5: Rest and slice
Once golden and crisp on the outside, let the bread sit for 5 minutes before cutting into slices and enjoying it.
Tips to make the best recipe
- Don’t over-mix. When making the dough make sure you don’t knead it. Mix only until the ingredients are evenly combined to keep from activating the gluten.
- Cut a cross. Cut a shallow cross in the middle of the loaf to let it expand controllably and bake thoroughly. This technique dates back to its origins.
- Use an iron pan. Baking your dough in an iron pan or skillet will give you the signature crispy crust on the outside and soft fluffiness on the inside.
To store. Wrap it up in an air-sealed bag and keep it at room temperature for up to three days or in the refrigerator for up to a week.
To freeze. You can freeze leftover bread in a ziplock for up to 3 months.
More breakfast recipes to try
Frequently asked questions
No, traditional Irish soda bread doesn’t contain eggs.
The tangy and moist interior of Irish soda bread makes it different from other types of bread. It’s also famous for being quick to prepare.
Irish Soda Bread
- Preheat the oven to 200C/400F. Line a large baking tray with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, add both kinds of flour, baking soda, and salt, and mix well.
- In a separate bowl, combine the unsweetened almond milk and apple cider vinegar. Stir well and let it sit for a few minutes. This will create a vegan buttermilk that will help the bread rise and become tender.
- Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the vegan buttermilk mixture. Add the maple syrup. Stir the mixture until it comes together to form a sticky dough.
- Gently knead the dough until smooth. Do not over-knead; the dough should be slightly sticky. Place the shaped dough onto the prepared baking sheet. Use a sharp knife to make a deep "X" on the top of the loaf. This helps the bread bake evenly and allows heat to penetrate the center.
- Transfer the baking sheet to the preheated oven and bake for about 15 minutes at 425°F (220°C). Then reduce the oven temperature to 400°F (200°C) and continue baking for another 20-25 minutes or until the bread is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.
- Let the bread cool completely before slicing and serving.