My Recipe for Traditional Irish Soda Bread

Anantara The Marker Soda Bread

Homemade soda bread is an iconic tradition here in Ireland that dates back to 1791 during the Victorian Era. While its ingredients may be simple, soda bread is an Irish tradition that has led our country through some of the darkest times. During the 19th century, widespread famine meant that bread had to be made out of the most basic and cheapest ingredients available. These four ingredients were soft wheat flower, salt, baking soda and sour milk (buttermilk today). Yeast wasn’t readily available, so the combination of baking soda and buttermilk acted as the leavening agent, causing the bread to rise.

The arrival of baking soda to Ireland prompted the popularity of soda bread, as it meant that the bread making process was quick and simple using locally grown and milled wheat. Historically, this bread was cooked in a pot over the roaring fire. This is where the distinctive rounded loaf shape originates from.

Bread-making remains a hugely important part of Ireland’s identity today. Almost every Irish family has its own recipe for this delicious bread on a slip of paper tucked away in an old cookbook.  Here in Forbes Street, we make our bread from scratch and serve it daily to our guests, immersing them in our iconic Irish tradition.

I’m delighted to share my recipe with you and hope that you bring a bit of Irish tradition with you into your home.


250g Wholemeal flour

250g Plain flour

8g Salt

20g Bread soda

50g Brown sugar

75g Oats

1 tbsp Flax seeds

1 tbsp. Sunflower seeds

1 tbsp. Pumpkin seeds

560g Buttermilk


  • Mix all dry ingredients by hand in a bowl
  • Add buttermilk and mix by hand until you have a wet dough
  • Put into a buttered bread loaf tin
  • Bake in a preheated oven (fan assisted) at 165⁰C for 50 minutes to an hour
  • Remove from the tin and place on a wire rack to cool

Enjoy with some deliciously salty Irish butter – here in Forbes Street, we use Glenilen Farmhouse butter