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Irish Soda Bread without Buttermilk

Irish soda bread is a classic recipe that we often associate with Saint Patricks Day. It's one of the easiest types of bread to make, uses basic ingredients, and has a soft crumbly texture. When paired with Irish butter, it will melt in your mouth! It's a bread everyone can make.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Bread
Cuisine Irish
Servings 8 People, Depending on size of slices


  • 1 & ¾ Cup Milk See Notes for exact measurement
  • 2 Tablespoons White Distilled Vinegar
  • 4 & ¼ Cup Bread Flour
  • 2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt


  • 4 Tablespoon Butter 1 Tablespoon for skillet and rest for spreading.


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. If using a cast iron skillet, place it in the oven at this time to start warming it up.
  • In at least a 2 cup liquid measuring cup, combine the milk and vinegar and allow to sit for 10 minutes. Start off by adding the 2 tablespoons of vinegar and then add milk until the volume of the liquid mix is 2 cups. The milk and vinegar combined shouldn't be more than 2 cups total.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add flour and whisk in the baking soda and salt.
  • Slowly add in the milk mixture with a fork or danish dough whisk. Make sure to whisk ingredients together as you combine them.
  • Mix until everything is fully combined and starts to form a ball. Soda bread is a very sticky dough so make sure your hands and work surface are lightly floured.
  • On a floured surface, remove dough from the bowl and using your hands, form the dough into a round loaf.
  • Remove skillet from the oven and add in 1 tablespoon of butter. This helps the bread from sticking and gives it a nice crispy crust.
  • Add dough to the skillet and with a serrated knife cut a deep cross in the top of the bread. about ½-3/4" deep.
  • Return to the oven and bake for 40 minutes, or until the top is golden brown. If the bread starts getting too brown you can cover with foil to prevent it from burning.
  • Remove from oven and place bread on a wire rack and allow to cool.
  • Slice, then spread on some Irish butter and serve.


Notes and Tips
Milk Measurement: The total amount of liquid needs to be 2 cups and the easiest way to achieve this is to take a 2 cup liquid measuring cup and add 2 tablespoons of vinegar. Then top it off with milk until the level reaches the 2 cup mark.
The acidity in the buttermilk is what helps activate the baking soda, so by adding vinegar to our regular milk we can achieve a similar chemical reaction.
This particular recipe calls for bread flour and it really does make a difference. I have made a lot of soda bread with both all-purpose flour and bread flour and with a side-by-side taste comparison, the bread flour came out on top. With that said, if all-purpose is all you have it will also work. Bread flour is just the preferred choice.
Buttermilk: If you do have buttermilk and want to make a more traditional loaf, just substitute the vinegar and milk for the same amount of buttermilk.
A traditional Irish recipe will include raisins and caraway seeds. I have chosen to leave those out of this particular loaf. My family does not like either in our bread and I want to make bread they will love to eat. So if you want a true traditional soda bread go ahead and add these things. About a cup of raisins and 1 tablespoon of caraway seeds.
If you do not have a cast-iron skillet, this bread can still be baked on a prepared sheet pan.
Irish soda bread will last 2-3 days at room temperature. It will start to become dry each day so it's best eaten right away. Wrap it well in aluminum foil to help keep some of that moisture in.
Soda bread can be frozen for up to 2 months.  Although, it will not be as fresh if stored this way.
Keyword Easy Bread, Irish Bread, Soda Bread
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