An easy no yeast, no knead Irish Soda Bread with only 5 ingredients. Think you can’t make bread, think again! This simple recipe will have you enjoying a soft, dense bread spread with a pat of butter with only 10 minutes of prep and then bake. A great addition to any St. Patrick’s Day dinner.
5 Ingredient Irish Soda Bread
What would St. Patrick’s Day be without a side of Irish Soda Bread? And yes, it is actually of Irish origin. Bread soda, or baking soda, was introduced back in the early 1800s and allowed people without ovens to make soda bread. They would use basic wheat flour and salt, buttermilk from their cows, add bread soda, and pop into a cast iron pot. They’d cover the iron pot and place right on the coals to bake. Now it’s considered a basic table bread in Ireland and sold in most commercial shops.
But, this easy to make bread, which has a texture somewhere between a biscuit and standard yeast bread, goes deliciously with just about any dinner, any time of year. It has a beautifully crisp crust and a soft interior that goes great smeared with a pat or two of butter. Yes, it goes fantastic with corned beef but also with stews, like this Instant Pot Beef Stew, and hearty soups. All you need are a couple of cake pans, 10 minutes of prep, no kneading necessary, then pop it in the oven for 40 minutes. There’s nothing better than fresh, warm bread on the table!
Easy steps to the perfect Irish soda bread
- In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt and sugar.
- Pour buttermilk into flour mixture.
- Using your hands, gently work dough together then pour out onto floured work surface.
- Work together for just 30 seconds or until dough holds together.
- Place dough ball in the center of a 9″ greased and floured cake pan.
- Cut an X in the top of the bread about 1/4-1/2″ deep.
- All ready to bake.
- Place a clean 9″ cake pan over the top of the bread and pop into the oven for about 40 minutes. Take the pan off the top for the last 15 minutes so the top can brown.
Just look at that beautifully browned loaf of bread that took hardly any work at all!
Questions and tips
Why do you cut the top of the bread? The X or cross cut in the top of the bread is actually there to allow the heat to penetrate the thickest part of the bread so it cooks evenly. As Ireland was a Catholic country, it is known as the cruciform shape, symbolic of crossing the bread or blessing it. It also makes the bread easier to break apart, symbolic of breaking of the bread. If you want to go the superstitious route, there’s a saying that it’s to let the devil out of the bread.
How do you know if the bread is done? Flip the bread onto your hand that has a pot holder on it and thump the bottom with your other hand. If it sounds hollow, it is done.
Pro-Tip: Handle this bread as little as possible as it will make the bread tougher.
Pair with one of these dinners for your St Patrick’s Day menu
Instant Pot Corned Beef with Beer – An easy instant pot recipe for the most flavorful corned beef. It’s cooked in beef stock and dark beer and surrounded by potatoes, carrots and onions for a hearty one pot dinner.
Instant Pot Guinness Beef Stew from super golden bakes – a rich and delicious beef stew, with beef, bacon and Guinness, that takes only 35 active minutes in the Instant Pot.
Guinness and Irish Cheddar Mac & Cheese from celebrating SWEETS – Flavorful stovetop mac and cheese with Guinness, sharp cheddar and dijon mustard.
An easy no yeast, no knead Irish Soda Bread with only 5 ingredients. Think you can't make bread, think again! This simple recipe will have you enjoying a soft, dense bread spread with a pat of butter with only 10 minutes of prep and then bake. A great addition to any St. Patrick's Day dinner.
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 3/4 cup buttermilk
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray a 9" cake pan with a nonstick spray and dust with flour. Have another cake pan ready on the side (no prep needed).
- In a large bowl, mix dry ingredients.
- Add buttermilk and mix well to form a dough.
- Dump out on a floured surface and knead for 30 seconds to incorporate all the flour. Do not over mix or the bread will be tough.
- Place dough into prepared cake pan and form into an oval mound. Cut an "X" in the dough, all the way across and about 1/4" deep. Place the other cake pan on top.
- Bake in oven for a total of 40-45 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove top cake pan and let bread cook for another 10-15 minutes to brown the top. Remove from oven and test for doneness by tapping lightly on the bottom of the loaf. If it sounds hollow, it is done.
Remove to wire rack to finish cooling.