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This is wonderful bread, HOWEVER (and it's a big "however"), you'll get much more authentic and palatable results if you substitute pastry flour for all-purpose; Ireland grows soft wheat--a better fit for leavening with soda and acid (and it's my understanding that sour milk is more traditional than buttermilk). You can also use 3 cups whole wheat pastry flour to 1 cup white pastry flour with maybe an extra half-teaspoon of soda and a bit more salt--delicious!
Stingo mentioned that the dough should be handled as little as possible, which turns out to have been sound advice. 10 seconds of very gentle kneading with floured fingers prior to shaping the loaf and cutting the cross is plenty and ensures that you'll get as much rise as possible. I followed the baking instructions to a T and got great results. I've read wrapping the bread in a tea towel when it comes out of the oven will result in a softer crust.

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Karen in Gotham September 17, 2010

I've made this recipe a few times long ago, and while the results were decent enough, they weren't inspiring enough to merit a stellar review. I attribute this to my fault as a newbie baker, because I have since had the help of a more experienced baker, and the results are very, very good. The key for me was to work the bread very gently - just fold the combined wet and dry mixture until it was just ready to form a ball of dough. I turned the bowl contents out onto a floured countertop and lightly patted them into a loaf, and put it onto a parchment covered baking sheet. What a difference in the texture - I can see what the fuss is about now. I will definitely be making this again (and again). Thanks so much for sharing the truly traditional Irish soda bread.

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stingo February 13, 2010

Simple, rustic soda bread. Just what I was looking for. Made this yesterday with whole wheat flour and milk/vinegar. Used almost 1 3/4 cup of liquid and baked perfectly in 35 minutes on a baking stone.

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LetsEat March 18, 2010

Simple, fast, dense, and tasty. This bread is a new staple in my diet now. I made it entirely with whole wheat flour and vegan buttermilk (soymilk + lemon juice). I like it best the day after--the flavors really develop then.

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~sweet pea~ September 10, 2008

This is EXCELLENT. I've been using another very similar recipe for Irish soda bread, which was ok. But the difference here I think is the higher temperature, 425. This bread turned out crusty/chewy/flavorful and delicious. I used 1/2 whole wheat flour, and made buttermilk from regular 1% milk with lemon juice. It's also incredibly easy to make.

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Diana_re2004 August 28, 2008

Yummy! So easy and simple! I followed other reviewers' advice and mixed/kneaded as little as possible and that definitely kept ithe texture perfect. Mine baked for just under 40 minutes and it came out crunchy on the outside, beautifully fluffy and chewy on the inside. Made for St. Patty's day dinner, and I will make it again!

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YourCakeIWillTake March 18, 2012

It takes more than the listed buttermilk - nearly 2 cups total. Very easy recipe and my family has requested it more often!

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ltaylor82@gmail.com March 17, 2012

Loved it and will definitely make it again!

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restless chef August 22, 2010

great bread! We did it with corned beef and cabbage for St. Patty's Day. We had some left over, and it was great toasted with butter and jam! thanks for sharing this recipe!

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GertieGirl March 30, 2010

Very good, easy. I would add a little more salt next time, but I love this simple peasant food. Great with corned beef and cabbage dinner. Thanks!

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Jubie March 21, 2010
Traditional Irish Soda Bread