irish dark soda bread

My boyfriend, John, is Irish. Sadly, he is not in touch with his Irish heritage at all. He doesn’t even celebrate St. Patrick’s Day! Armed with an old recipe I found at my Grandma’s house, I made my first attempt at trying to reconnect John with his roots.

This recipe yields 2 loaves and I am told they are very authentic tasting. The loaves had hard crusts, but fairly soft centers, and were pretty weighty. I would liken their flavor to that of a soft pretzel and personally found it very pleasant. Sadly, John did not feel the same. He is a very picky eater. Soda bread may be an acquired taste, but I enjoyed it, and think that this recipe is nice. If you know any REAL Irish people, or need ideas for St. Patrick’s Day next year, these loaves are super simple to make and gorgeous:] I am not giving up on John after one recipe though, so stay tuned!


3 cups all purpose flour
2 1/4 cups buttermilk (or milk with a few drops of vinegar in it)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking soda


First, add all the dry ingredients together, making sure to break up all the brown sugar clumps. Add the buttermilk and stir until everything is combined. Then, knead the dough for a couple minutes. This dough should be ready fairly quickly. Divide the dough in half and spin each half, while patting them into round loaves. When you have 2 round loaves, lightly score an x on each loaf. If you score them too deeply your loaves will split and will not be as attractive. Preheat your oven to 400° and let your loaves set for 10 minutes. Bake your loaves on the center rack of your oven for 40 minutes. I baked my loaves directly on my pizza stone. If you do not have a pizza stone, a parchment lined sheet will do the trick. Serve immediately or store immediately, because these loaves tend to harden if you set them out.