Irish Soda Bread

Irish Soda Bread

Yes you can make bread without yeast. This Irish soda bread is a great example of yeast free bread from on hand items. And what a delicious example it is. A knead free, yeast free no-rise quick bread.

When yeast is scarce and sourdough is not in your repertoire. Soda bread can still make your bread dreams come true. It’s yummy and satisfying . And though it has a longer bake time, there is not a lot of tricky steps involved. If you can make baking powder biscuits, you can make soda bread.

Irish soda bread is a mix of a baking powder biscuit meets quick bread. It is wonderfully dense, with a nice crumb and a hint of sweetness. It gets a terrifically crusty, salty exterior from the combination of butter, buttermilk and coarse salt on top. Which makes it extra tasty. It’s hard to beat.

No Rise Irish Soda Bread

Though there is no rise involved, the bread needs at least a full hour in the oven to cook. And don’t skip brushing on the buttermilk and butter combo with a generous sprinkling of coarse sea salt. That is arguably the best part.

Irish soda bread is just as good along side soup (our favourite is paired with cream of potato) as it is slathered in butter and jam.

I like it best warm. And really who doesn’t like warm bread. But it’s equally as irresistible room temperature and best stored well wrapped on the counter.

Irish Soda Bread

A quick recipe for a yeast free bread with a delicous crust

Course Side Dish
Cuisine European
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Servings 8


Irish Soda Bread Dough

  • 4 Cups All Purpose Flour
  • 4 tablespoons Granulated Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Coarse Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 Cup Cold Butter cubed
  • 1 Cup Buttermilk
  • 1 Egg


  • 2 Tablespoons Melted Butter
  • 2 Tablespoons Buttermilk
  • 1/4 -1/2 teaspoon Coarse Sea Salt


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. In a large bowl mix together the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
  3. Use pastry cutter (or your hands) to work in the cold butter into the flour mixture until it resembles course crumbs with pea size pieces of butter.

  4. Whisk the buttermilk and egg together and add to the flour mixture. Mix in with a fork and then knead together with your hands until a shaggy dough forms.
  5. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead together until you can form a round loaf.
  6. Place into a large cast iron pan (or a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper) and slightly flatten loaf so that it can cook more evenly.

  7. In a small bowl combine 2 tablespoons melted butter and 2 tablespoons buttermilk.
  8. Brush the loaf with this mixture
  9. Cut an ‘X’ into the top of the loaf with a sharp knife (about a half inch deep)
  10. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt
  11. Bake in preheated oven for 50 – 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
  12. Allow to cool 5 – 10 minutes before serving.

Recipe Notes

Store any leftover bread covered at room temperature.

Need something with yeast?! Check out this recipe for delicious Homemade Bagels

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