Soda Bread

5 from 3 votes

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If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to bake fresh bread without the fuss of kneading and waiting for hours, Soda Bread is your answer. This Irish classic is a rustic, crusty loaf that requires minimal effort and simple ingredients.

a loaf of soda bread sliced and a dish of butter
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Soda bread is a delightful, no-fuss bread that brings the joy of homemade baking to your table without the hassle. Whether you’re a seasoned baker or a beginner, this recipe is sure to become a staple in your kitchen.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Speedy Satisfaction: Soda bread is a game-changer when you’re craving homemade bread but don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen. From start to finish, you can have a warm, aromatic loaf on your table in under an hour. It’s perfect for impromptu gatherings or when you need a bread fix in a hurry.
  • Minimal Ingredients: You won’t need a laundry list of ingredients for soda bread. Flour, baking soda, salt, and buttermilk are the basic essentials. It’s a straightforward recipe that allows you to enjoy the pure and hearty flavor of freshly baked bread.
  • No Yeast Required: The magic behind soda bread lies in baking soda, not yeast. This means no waiting for the dough to rise. Just mix, shape, bake, and enjoy. It’s a great option for those with yeast allergies or if you’re simply out of yeast.
top view of a loaf of soda bread still in the pan

Recipe Ingredients

  • Whole Wheat Flour: Gives a nutty and hearty flavor to the bread and is rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
  • All-Purpose Flour: Provides structure and a lighter texture to the bread compared to whole wheat flour.
  • Baking Soda: Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, is a leavening agent that helps the bread rise by producing carbon dioxide when it reacts with acidic ingredients like buttermilk in this recipe.
  • Salt: Salt helps to balance the sweetness from ingredients like brown sugar and molasses. It also strengthens the dough structure.
  • Brown Sugar: Contributes to the bread’s moisture and tenderness.
  • Molasses: Molasses is a thick, dark syrup byproduct of sugar production. It has a distinct, rich, and slightly bitter-sweet flavor that adds depth and moisture to the bread.
  • Buttermilk: Buttermilk reacts with baking soda to provide leavening and creates a tender crumb in the bread. Shake well before using to ensure an even consistency.
  • Egg: Eggs are used in this recipe to provide structure, moisture, and help bind the ingredients together.
  • Vegetable Oil: Vegetable oil is used for moistness and it also helps to keep the bread tender and prevents it from becoming too dry.

See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.

  1. When combining the wet and dry ingredients, be gentle. Overmixing can make the bread tough. Mix just until the dough comes together.Get creative with your add-ins. Try adding dried cranberries and orange zest for a fruity twist or grated cheddar and chopped chives for a savory option.
  2. If molasses isn’t available, honey or maple syrup can be used as a substitute, although this will change the flavor profile slightly.
  3. If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, combine 2 cups of milk with 2 tablespoons of lemon juice or white vinegar. Let it sit for 5 minutes before using.
aesthetic view of a slice of soda bread and a spread of butter and a whole loaf and plate of butter in the background

How To Make Soda Bread

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F and then grease a loaf pan for easy release.In a large bowl, whisk together dry ingredients.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix wet ingredients nts until smooth.
  3. Combine wet and dry ingredients and gently stir until just combined, being careful not to overmix.
  4. Transfer the batter to the prepared loaf pan, spreading it evenly. Bake for approximately 45 minutes or until a toothpick/knife in the center comes out clean.
  5. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer it to a wire rack to cool completely, preserving its soft texture.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use regular milk instead of buttermilk?

Yes, you can. To make a buttermilk substitute, add one tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice to a cup of milk and let it sit for 5-10 minutes before using.

Can I make soda bread gluten-free?

Absolutely! There are many gluten-free flour blends available. Simply swap out the regular flour with a gluten-free alternative and ensure that your baking soda is gluten-free as well.

Can I freeze soda bread?

Yes, you can freeze soda bread. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and store it in an airtight container in the freezer for up to three months. Thaw it at room temperature when you’re ready to enjoy.

top view of a loaf of soda bread sliced and a dish of butter

Expert Tips

1. Don’t Overmix: When combining the wet and dry ingredients, be gentle. Overmixing can make the bread tough. Mix just until the dough comes together. 2.Shape the Dough Lightly: Form the dough into a round or oval shape, but don’t knead it excessively. A light touch helps maintain the bread’s tender crumb. 3.Baking Time May Vary: Depending on your oven, baking time may vary slightly. The bread is done when it sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. If it’s browning too quickly, cover it with foil.

How To Store Soda Bread

Once the soda bread has cooled, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Ensure that there are no openings or gaps in the wrapping to keep the bread airtight.

Soda bread is best when enjoyed within 2-3 days of baking. You can store it at room temperature in a cool, dry place, like your kitchen counter or a breadbox.

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a loaf of soda bread sliced and a dish of butter
5 from 3 votes

Soda Bread

Soda bread is a quick and rustic bread, leavened with baking soda, known for its simplicity and deliciously hearty flavor.
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Total: 1 hour
Servings: 10

Ingredients 

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • cup packed brown sugar
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • 2 cups buttermilk, well-shaken
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • cup vegetable oil, or any neutral oil

Instructions 

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Set the oven rack in the middle position.
  • Lightly grease a loaf pan using butter or non-stick spray to ensure easy release of the bread after baking.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking soda, salt, and brown sugar. Ensure all ingredients are well combined and there are no lumps.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the molasses, buttermilk, beaten egg, and oil. Whisk until the mixture is smooth.
  • Slowly pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients. Gently stir until the batter is just combined. Be cautious not to overmix.
  • Transfer the batter into the prepared loaf pan, spreading it out evenly. Tap the pan gently on the countertop to remove any air bubbles. Bake in the preheated oven for about 45 minutes or until a toothpick or knife inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean.
  • After baking, let the bread sit in the pan for 10 minutes. Then, transfer it to a wire rack to cool completely. This ensures the bread remains soft and doesn't become soggy from the steam.

Notes

  • Molasses Alternative: If molasses isn’t available, honey or maple syrup can be used as a substitute, although this will change the flavor profile slightly.
  • Buttermilk Substitute: If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, combine 2 cups of milk with 2 tablespoons of lemon juice or white vinegar. Let it sit for 5 minutes before using.
  • Brown soda bread is delicious when served warm with butter, jam, or honey. It’s also a great accompaniment to soups and stews.
  • Store in a cool, dry place wrapped in a cloth or plastic bag to keep it fresh. It’s best consumed within 2-3 days.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 of 10 slices, Calories: 280kcal, Carbohydrates: 43g, Protein: 7g, Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Trans Fat: 0.1g, Cholesterol: 22mg, Sodium: 514mg, Potassium: 304mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 16g, Vitamin A: 105IU, Calcium: 91mg, Iron: 2mg
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