Traditional White Soda Bread

I bake a loaf of this White Soda everyday and considering that St. Patrick's Day is almost upon us I thought when better to post this tradition Irish recipe. I would barely have this loaf out of the oven before I have three boys lining up to have a slice covered with plenty of Irish butter.
Would you believe that I only started making my own bread about three years ago. Before that I would always be treated to fresh home baked bread from my dear Mother. She made bread daily and always maintained that a slice of her brown bread with a piece of cheese was as nutritious as any meal. With practice I have mastered a few of my own breads but White Soda Bread is most certainly the easiest to make! However I have yet to make a bread that tastes as good as my mother's tasted and even though I have a hand written recipe (which I cherish) it just never tastes the same.
I always remember my mother kneading her soda bread mixture before popping it in the oven. As mentioned before I'm not formally trained as a chef and many of my recipes and methods tend to be what I have found to work best for me. So I tend not to knead but instead I just gather the wet dough together with floured hands and bring it gently together on a floured work surface. Don't worry if it appears sticky just pat with a little extra flour.

It is the most versatile recipe as even though it is delicious plain the addition of some key ingredients can transform it into something amazing. I previously posted my Sun Dried Tomato and Fresh Herb Soda Bread which works perfectly with a bowl of soup or a piece of really nice cheese! Some spices, like crushed coriander seeds can be added for a mild spicy bread. Many also add raisins or chocolate chips. Any of the above additional ingredients are added with the dry ingredients.  But for today I am keeping my soda bread authentic! As there are so few ingredients in this recipe I love to use all good quality ingredients especially the buttermilk. My favourite buttermilk to buy is Cuinneog Natural Buttermilk. This recipe will be enough for a round loaf or a 2lb loaf tin.   

If using a loaf tin grease it with some butter but if using a baking tray a sprinkle of flour will suffice to stop it from sticking.


450g (1lb) plain white flour, 
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon bread soda
400ml (14fl oz) buttermilk (you may not need all of this so stop adding at 370mls and add more if required)


1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC/370ºF/Gas Mark 6  .
2. Sift all the dry ingredients into a large, wide bowl, and make a well in the centre. Pour in the milk. Using the fingers of one hand, stiff and oustretched like a claw, stir from the centre to the edge of the bowl in concentric circles. The dough should be softish, but not too wet and sticky. When it all comes together, turn out on to a well-floured work surface.
3. Wash and dry your hands. Pat the dough into a tidy shape and flip over gently, then pat it into a round. Gently transfer to a floured baking tray. Cut a deep cross into the loaf and prick the centre of each quarter.
4. Bake for 45 minutes or until cooked golden in colour and cooked through.  If you are in doubt tap the bottom of the bread, it should sound hollow. Cool on a wire rack. 
Soda bread is best eaten on the day it is made but is perfect toasted the next day.


Greenside Up said...

Thanks for sharing your recipe Nessa. Am almost ashamed to admit that I've never made soda bread (keep forgetting to buy buttermilk is my excuse!) I'll keep your recipe though and give it a go.

Nessa Robins said...

Thanks Dee. For me I just got into habit of having everything I needed to make the bread at hand. It then only takes a couple of mins to get into the oven!

Matt's Cooking Secrets said...

This looks really good. I've only made soda bread once, quite a long time ago, and I failed miserably at it. I'll probably give it another try when I have a chance to buy some buttermilk.

Nessa Robins said...

It really just takes a little practice. A large bowl is important and don't worry if it is too sticky just pat your hands with flour to gather the dough together. My 7 year old niece makes it and just pours the wet dough into a greased tin and amazingly it still turns out well.
Let me know how you get on :)

the mountain fox said...

I love White soda bread! And that one looks particularly delicious!

Ocean Breezes and Country Sneezes said...

The strangest thing just happened, I clicked to post a comment on your blog and it showed up on mine!!! LOL!! So, what I said was, I've never seen white soda bread in the States and I'll have to try your recipe! Thank you for sharing, and thank you for stopping by!



This soda bread sounds and looks delicious! Best of luck on Saturday, you deserve to win with such a fantastic blog!!!!

Nessa Robins said...

Thanks Bridget. I really think that a good quality buttermilk makes the difference.
That's funny Mary! With such a simple recipe I thought White Soda would be available everywhere! Is it because buttermilk is difficult to source over there?
Thanks Fiona - Fingers crossed :)!

cocoa and coconut said...

Love it! Nothing better than home-made bread.

Wendy said...

Hi Nessa, best of luck with awards tomorrow!! My younger ones love me to make soda bread when their friends are over, and then just like your boys, the whole loaf is devoured almost straight from the oven smothered in butter or Nutella!! :) Wendy XX



Nessa Robins said...

Thanks Brittany!
Thanks Wendy, My boys are also big fans of Nutella:)
I'm thrilled to win the award - I have been so busy I must put on a post about it!