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June 11, 2019

Irish soda bread is a no yeast bread recipe. Traditional Irish soda bread is shaped as a boule and then baked. It has golden color on the crust with a dense tight crumb.

But I love to have my bread as a loaf and I shaped it so. Frankly, I never liked the version of quick bread and always enjoy eating my yeast-bread. But there are people who don’t eat yeast-based bread because of their personal reasons. So they mostly rely on quick soda bread.

This month our host Stacy Livingston Rushton has given us a theme of Quickbread. Hence I got the chance to try my hands on this traditional Irish Soda Bread recipe with buttermilk, but with a little tweak.

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Why do they call it Irish Soda Bread?

Irish because the oldest published recipe of soda bread was found in a London magazine published in 1836. Soda bread because unlike yeast, baking soda is used as a leavening agent for this bread. Many people stay confused between baking soda and baking powder and I have answered that in my article.


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What is Soda Bread?

Soda bread is basically a combination of flour, baking soda, and buttermilk. When baking soda reacts with buttermilk, then it helps the bread to expand. If you are worried about the citric flavor of buttermilk then don’t worry.

Honey Buttermilk Bread is one of the most popular recipes among my users. I have used the same combination of baking soda and buttermilk in this recipe. It’s been 3 years, but people still write emails and leave comments on its YouTube recipe and appreciate its flavor.

In many countries, buttermilk is not easily available. If you are in such a country then check the recipe notes at the end to know how to make buttermilk at home.

Let’s move to the recipe

For this quick yeast-free bread, I have used half portion Whole wheat flour and half portion All-purpose flour just like I have used in my 50-50 bread. To add little sweetness and color, I added Honey. For crunch, I have added dry cranberries. Those little red cranberries were looking like red rubies through the golden crumb of the bread.

If you bake this recipe, please share a picture with me on my Instagram using #bakewithsoni

Quick Notes

Tin Size
Oven Temp
180 °C
Baking Time
30 min
MW Convection Temp
170 °C
Baking Time
30 min
Demold Instructions
Cooling Time
60 min

Still struggling to decide which oven to buy. Read our detailed guide to make your choice for the best oven for yourself.

Before we start preparing the dough, keep the oven for preheating at 180 °C.

Add honey to buttermilk. Stir it to mix it.

In a large mixing bowl, add whole wheat flour, All-purpose flour, salt, cranberries, and baking soda. Mix all the dry ingredients. Add honey and buttermilk solution to it. Using a spatula mix everything until it comes together.

Add butter to the dough. Butter should be at room temperature so that it can blend with the dough easily. Knead it for 2-3 minutes until its smooth. Now shape it into a log.

Line a loaf tin (dimensions 6x3x3 inches) with parchment paper. Place the shaped loaf facing seam side down. Using a sharp knife, slit the dough lengthwise.

Bake it in a preheated oven at 180 °C for 30 minutes.

Once it’s baked, take it out of the oven and de-mold it immediately. Place it on a wired rack and let it cool completely.

Is Soda bread and Sourdough bread the same thing?

I wonder why people confuse both of these bread together whereas both are completely opposite to each other. Soda bread does not use yeast at all. Soda bread is a quick bread. However, Sourdough Bread is a long process and takes many hours to complete dough into bread. Sourdough bread uses natural yeast which the baker culture on its own.

The traditional Irish Soda Bread is generally made with whole meal or with all-purpose flour using buttermilk and baking soda. For those who look for yeast-free bread, this bread is for them.

What does soda bread taste like?

The taste of soda bread depends on the ingredients you add in it. Few people like to make soda bread with raisins and some with caraway seeds. There are many variations that can be made of the traditional soda bread. But typically the soda bread is going to be little dry, mildly sweet, and tastes more like a biscuit.

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#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page.

We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. The theme for this month is “Quick Bread Loaves”. Our host of the month is Stacy at Food Lust People Love. Check out what the Bread Bakers have baked.

Irish Soda bread #BreadBakers

Extremely easy Irish Soda Bread for people who look for yeast free bread. This brown soda bread is a quick bread that needs no rising time.

Soda bread
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Course: Main Course, Traditional
Cuisine: European
Servings: 10 slices



  • Keep the oven for preheating at 180 °C.
  • Add honey to buttermilk. Stir it to mix it.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add whole wheat flour, All-purpose flour, salt, cranberries, and baking soda.
  • Add honey and buttermilk solution to it. Mix it.
  • Add butter to the dough. Mix it well into the dough.
  • Knead the dough for 2 minutes and then shape it into a log.
  • Place the shaped dough into a lined loaf tin.
  • Seam side should face down. Using a sharp knife, slit the dough lengthwise.
  • Bake it in a preheated oven at 180 °C for 30 minutes.
  • Once baked, remove the tin from oven.
  • De-mold the bread and place it on a wired rack.
  • Let the bread come to room temperature. Slice and serve.



  1. Every ingredient in the recipe and its quantity has its own significance. Do not alter them.
  2. This recipe is a tried and tested recipe. Substitute the ingredient/s only at your own risk.
  3. You can adjust the servings of this recipe in the “Recipe Card” and all the ingredients and their measurement will automatically adjust.
  4. To buy our recommended baking tool and ingredients, please visit, our Shop of recommended baking products.
  5. Buttermilk is not easily available in many places. In that case, whisk a ¼ cup of fresh yogurt with ¾ cup water. Or add 1 tsp vinegar to 1 cup milk. Keep it aside for 5 minutes. Buttermilk is ready.
  6. You can replace honey with maple syrup.
Tried this recipe? Share it with me on Instagram!Mention @bakewithsonia or tag #bakewithsonia

About the Author Sonia Gupta

Founder of AnyBodyCanBake, Noted Entrepreneur, Celebrated Baker, Certified Baking Instructor, and Accomplished Food Blogger.

  • Hi Sonia, is this the only yeast free bread recipe you have experimented with? Have you tried the yeast and egg free sandwich bread recipe yet? Would love to know the recipe and try it out

  • Hii Soniaji, what can be substitute for All Purpose Flour.
    Wanted to bake this bread Vegan. I will use non dairy buttermilk, instead of honey will use dates paste & butter can be replaced by coconut butter.

    • Hello Shashi,
      Thanks for reaching out. I will look forward to your experiment. Do share the pic of your bread on my insta @bakewithsonia.
      For all-purpose flour, you can reduce the quantity of APF and include Whole Wheat Flour, however, the more you add whole wheat flour, the denser the bread is going to be.
      Hope this answer your question.

  • Hello Sonia, Your Irish Soda bread looks gorgeous. The cranberries actually look like rubies peeing out of the delicious crumb. You have explained everyting so well. This is a perfect bake!

    • Yes Karen, it happens. On internet i read too many articles where people left such questions “if soda bread and sourdough bread is same thing?”. Even I was surprised and that’s why i thought to make it clear in my article 🙂

      Happy Baking,

  • Wonderful texture on the bread. I am I Ireland but never baked a soda bread. May be as it is easily available. You have got it perfectly done.

    • Thank you Renu for these encouraging words. I never tasted market made soda bread so hard to comment if it is going to taste same or not. But it was very soft and moist.


  • I can’t believe I have never considered making soda bread in a loaf pan! It turned out absolutely gorgeous and of course I love dried cranberries, just about my favorite dried fruit add-in.

  • Hi i will surely try this…. Only one query why to slit the bread in the middle….pls don’t laugh at my silly question… I am a newbie

    • Hi Manisha, Thanks for writing in. Believe me, questions are never silly. Many times questions make me seek answers of a few things that never struck my mind.
      So the bread has moisture inside and when it will go inside the oven and start baking, the moisture will convert into vapors and will need a direction to come out of bread. Instead of the vapor finding its way by its own and making a crack anywhere in the bread, we slit the bread to give direction to the vapors.
      Let me know if I was able to answer your question.

    • Hi Stacy,

      You said same thing as i mentioned in my recipe. Those were actually looking like jewels. Thanks for choosing such an awesome theme.


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