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Making Irish Soda Bread

Usually, we celebrate St Patricks Day by visiting a local pub or throwing a party at home. However, this year will be quite so why not look back to some older traditions to celebrate the occasion?
Irish soda bread is the perfect sweet treat to accompany a Guinness or the traditional meal of corned beef with cabbage.
Steeped in history, soda bread became popular from the 19th century because it required minimal ingredients and it was quick to make thanks to the introduction of baking soda which allowed breads like these to be made quickly without needing time to prove and rise.
Ever since then, soda bread has been a popular traditional staple of the Irish diet with families all having their unique twist on the recipe.

So this year along with your green outfits, crazy hats, shamrocks and glasses of Guinness, on St Patricks Day why not make a loaf or two of this tasty traditional Irish soda bread to get in the spirit?


  • 250g plain wholemeal flour
  • 250g plain white flour
  • 100g porridge oats
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 500ml buttermilk
  • 25g butter, diced into small cubes


1.  Before you do anything else, preheat the oven to 200°c/180°c fan/gas mark 6.

2.  Dust a baking sheet tray with a little flour.

3.  Add the plain flour, wholemeal flour, salt, bicarbonate soda and porridge oats into a large mixing bowl. Stir well. 

4.  Add the butter and using your fingers, rub the butter into the dry ingredients. 

5. Pour in the buttermilk and using a table knife mix it together quickly until it begins to form a dough. Then using your fingers, continue to bring the dough together until all the ingredients are fully combined. Handle the dough gently - you do not need to knead the dough. 

6.  Lightly flour your work surface and turn out the dough onto it. Shape it with your hands into a flat, rounded loaf shape roughly 20cm in diameter. 

6.  Place the loaf on the baking sheet, and using a sharp knife deeply score the top of the loaf with a cross shape. 

7.  Bake the loaf for 30-35 minutes. You can check if it is done by tapping the bottom of the loaf, if it sounds hollow then it's done! If it needs more time, turn it upside down and bake for a further few minutes. 

8.  Transfer the loaf to a wire rack to cool, and cover with a clean tea towel or cotton cloth. 

Serve sliced with fresh butter. 

Make light work of baking with an electric hand mixer or stand mixer...