Soda Bread

About this Recipe

Don’t you sometimes wish you can make homemade bread without all the waiting? I sure do. This soda bread recipe is perfect because it doesn’t use yeast and therefore does not require the waiting time that regular bread making does. From start to finish this super quick bread recipe takes only about an hour...and it really does taste incredible. The smell of homemade bread brings me straight back into my Grandmother’s kitchen and makes me think of Sunday morning smells, or late night snacks of fresh homemade bread with a little butter and honey. No wonder we were wired at night! My Grandmother had a thing for feeding us bedtime snacks, and we loved it!

Grandmother’s TIPS for Soda Bread Recipe:

1. You can eat fresh and warm from the oven or the bread will keep 2 days un-refrigerated and 4 if refrigerated.

2. Don’t have buttermilk in your fridge? You can easily make your own with regular milk with the addition of an acid like lemon or white vinegar...see more in the instructions below.

3. The texture is a bit more like that of fluffy biscuits than regular fluffy bread, and is great for dipping in a bowl of Loaded Vegetable Soup Recipe or any one of Grandmother's Soup and Stew Recipes



Makes: 1 loaf - 12 slices

1 1/4 cups buttermilk + 3 Tablespoons extra to reserve for brushing *see below how to make your own

3 cups unbleached flour

2 Tablespoons granulated sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoons salt

1/2 cup butter, melted and near room temperature

3 Tablespoons of reserved buttermilk for brushing

Optional: quick oats for top garnish


1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Line a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

3. If you do not have buttermilk and are making your own *measure out the milk and stir in one tablespoon pure lemon juice. Stir lightly. If you do not have lemon juice you can use white vinegar.

4. Measure out and set aside the extra milk that you will use for brushing the buns.

5. Place the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a mixing bowl and stir together to combine.

6. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the milk and the melted butter.

7. Use a wooden spoon to gently stir combine the dough ingredients then use your hands to work the dough and make it into a ball. You don't want to knead it much, just work it until nicely combined.

8. Form it into a ball and place onto the parchment paper.

9. Use a sharp knife to cut and X across the top of the bun. The X will open up when you bake it.

10. Use a pastry brush to paint on the reserved buttermilk. Apply generously over the entire loaf and down the sides.

11. You may not use it all, just put the amount needed to glaze the whole loaf.

12. Use your fingertips to sprinkle the quick oats all over the top of the loaf. This is an optional step you can omit but the presentation when baked is very appealing with the little toasted quick oats on top.

13. Place the loaf into the preheated oven and bake for 40 minutes or until golden brown. A toothpick inserted in the middle will come out clean when ready.

14. Remove from the oven and transfer off the baking sheet onto a cooling rack.

This recipe is so simple and quick to make and the results of the loaf give you a moist on the inside, crispy on the outside Soda bread.


Return to this Soda Bread recipe or check out more recipes at Grandmother's Kitchen

For people who favour homemade bread, time is often a limitation in making it since many kinds of bread is leavened with yeast. When yeast is added to a bread dough, it needs time to activate as well as ferment the bread. The time the dough takes to rest allows the yeast to work on the dough so that the bread produces a tender, fluffy interior, as well as quality flavour when baked. In the case of this soda bread recipe, however, the leavening agent is natural baking soda, which means that as soon as the dough is mixed, it can be baked.

While typical bread ingredients involve yeast, flour and salt at the most basic, soda bread usually includes a combination of flour, baking soda, salt and buttermilk. Hard flour or traditional bread flour works best with yeast as a leavener, but soft flour will work well with baking soda.

Baking soda requires acid to activate, and the tanginess of buttermilk is perfect for doing this. If you don’t have buttermilk, you can replace it with an equal amount of regular milk and a tablespoon of lemon or white vinegar. Just blend the two and allow to sit for 10 minutes while you get the other ingredients together for the bread.

Soda bread is prepared in several countries like Ireland, Serbia, Scotland and Australia, and refers to any savoury loaf that is leavened with natural baking soda. This version is most similar to Irish soda bread because it is shaped into a round loaf with an ‘x’ cut on top.

The 'x' is supposed to allow for more expansion of the dough during baking, but it may have a symbolic meaning as well. The cruciform might have also been a protection symbol for warding off the devil and would make complete sense as Ireland has traditionally been a Catholic country.

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