Recipe: Donal Skehan’s Irish Buttermilk Soda Bread

updated May 1, 2019
Irish Buttermilk Soda Bread
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(Image credit: Kimberley Hasselbrink)

Soda bread is an amazingly easy, versatile recipe, and has stood the test of time as an Irish classic because it so simple. It is a no-knead, no-fuss style of bread, which is my kind of recipe! You can change this classic by adding lots of tasty things like sea salt, different cheeses, or even green garlic. It’s delicious on its own or served with a warm bowl of soup.

More from Donal Skehan

Testing Notes

I love soda breads since you don’t need a mixer or any rising time — just stir, form into a round, and bake! I’ve found that soda bread tastes the best the day it is made, but leftovers are fabulous toasted.

Christine, April 2015

Irish Buttermilk Soda Bread

Serves 8 to 10

Nutritional Info


  • 1 2/3 cups

    bread flour, plus more for dusting

  • 1 1/3 cups

    whole wheat flour

  • 1 1/4 teaspoons

    baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon


  • 1 1/2 cups


  • 1

    large egg

  • 1 teaspoon



  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and sprinkle with a little bread flour; set aside.

  2. Combine the flours, baking soda, and salt in a mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, measure out the buttermilk and then whisk in the egg and honey.

  3. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, and then pour in the wet mixture. Using a wooden spoon, bring the mix together to form a dough. Add a little extra flour if you find the dough is too wet and sticky.

  4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and sprinkle lightly with flour. Form the dough into a ball, then shape it into a round, about 6 inches in diameter.

  5. Transfer the round onto the prepared baking sheet. Using a sharp knife, cut an "X" about 1/2-inch deep from end to end. Sprinkle lightly with more flour.

  6. Bake in the oven for 35 minutes. The bread is cooked when the bottom is tapped and sounds hollow. Remove to a wire rack and cool before slicing and enjoying with a little butter.

Recipe Notes

Recipe reprinted with permission from Donal Skehan's website.