Irish Soda Bread

I just made some soda bread.


Fresh out the oven and ready to have some decadent butter slathered all over it while it’s still hot.

Irish soda bread is my go-to bread recipe for about a year now. Simply because it is so delicious. I just love how substantial and dense it is. So lovely to dunk into things like olive oil and curries. On top of that it also has other major bonus points going for it:

  • Quick to prepare, within minutes. No rise time required!
  • So incredibly easy.
  • Just 4 ingredients: flour, salt, baking soda, and buttermilk

Well, 5, if you include lemon or white vinegar to make a buttermilk substitute. Buttermilk is not an ingredient I’m familiar with, and I found it is available in the supermarkets here but it’s expensive. It costs quite a lot more than regular milk. Happily enough I have learned I can quickly and easily make my own substitute. It’s basically just mixing in 2 tablespoons of lemon or white vinegar to every cup of milk, and letting it stand for a while so it thickens, about 10 minutes or so.


Here’s the video where I discovered the wonderful Irish Soda Bread, and the charming presenter Darina Allen. It’s only 4 minutes long. I’ve since learned that Darina is a famous and highly-respected chef and food writer. I like her manner of presenting. I’m not a fan of all TV chefs, some I just find too loud and brash. I guess trying too hard to be interesting. I like the ones like this lady here who is engaging and enthusiastic enough, charismatic but still calm and soothing to watch. And of course the Irish accent is always lovely to hear.

In case the video above doesn’t work, the recipe is also available at: Darina Allen’s Irish Soda Bread. Variations such as turning the dough into cheese scones are also suggested there. I’ve tried the cheese scone version and they were very nice too.



The loaf I just made is smaller than the prescribed recipe, because I only wanted to make 1 Cup of the buttermilk substitute. The amount of flour I therefore also reduced, from 3.5 Cups to 2.5 Cups.


To add on to all the things I already mentioned about why I love Irish Soda Bread, I also love the ‘rustic’ look about it, which also puts a smile on my face because anything rustic makes me think of that sometimes-pretentiously-used word, artisanal :-)


And here’s another short video, on how to make a buttermilk substitute. Really short at only 1 minute and 19 seconds! I love these short videos! I hate it when these tutorials are unnecessarily long because the presenters yak and yak on and on. This one is concise, with another lovely presenter with a lovely Irish accent to boot.