TEAM Eats: Irish Soda Bread

Irish soda bread doesn't look like your standard loaf of bread. It is lumpy and hearty.
Check out this recipe for a hearty bread all the way from our missionaries in Ireland! This isn't the normal bread you would expect. Keep reading to check it out!

I love Irish food. It’s hearty and wonderful, especially on a cold wet day. In Ireland, traditional food consists of meat (beef, ham, chicken or lamb), root vegetables (potatoes, carrots, parsnips, turnips, onions) cabbage, oats and bread — lots of bread! Almost every food order in Ireland comes with “brown bread” also known as “soda bread.” 

It’s heartier and not fluffy like white bread. It’s nutty and full and tummy-filling! An older woman gave me this recipe after I complimented her on the bread she made for a ladies’ brunch. She said, “It’s just a regular brown bread,” but I don’t think so! I have had a lot of them, and this is the best one! It is an easy recipe. Try it out for yourself! 


1¾ cups wheaten flour

2¾ cups sifted unbleached flour 

½ cup of raw unsalted pumpkin seeds

½ cup of flaxseed

½ cup of sunflower seeds 

1 cup of oat bran or wheat bran

2 tsp. salt

2 tsp. baking soda 

25 oz. buttermilk 

Butter, jam or honey to put on bread



1. Preheat oven to 400 ͦF.

The first step to making Irish soda bread is lining the loaf tin with parchment paper.

2. Cut parchment paper to size and line 2 – 1 lb. loaf tins. (Trust me, this is a good idea if you want the loaf to come out of the tin nicely.)

Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl to make the bread dough.

3. In your large bowl, mix together wheaten flour, sifted unbleached flour, raw unsalted pumpkin seeds, flaxseed, sunflower seeds, oat bran (or wheat bran), salt and baking soda

4. Pour buttermilk over the dry mixture and mix very quickly. 

Tip: The trick is in your speed. Mix all your dry ingredients together, have your oven fully preheated and your baking tins lined and ready to go, because as soon as you add the buttermilk, it will begin to proof, and the rising will begin.

The Irish soda bread dough mixture should be thick once all of the ingredients are mixed together.

5. Transfer into the lined baking tins. 

6. Place in oven and bake for 40 minutes. Check with a toothpick. The tops will be gloppy. That’s part of the fun of it. 

Let the bread cool propped up on it's side. This will help make it easier to remove it from the loaf tin

7. Place loaves on cooling racks and tip them on their sides. Let them cool like this for about 15 minutes. Then remove from tins.

8. Enjoy with butter and jam or honey. This bread is also lovely with Irish stew or soup.

You can add jam or honey to enhance the flavor of the bread.

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About the author

Brenda Taylor

Brenda serves in Limerick City in west Ireland with her husband Bruce. They have 2 adult sons, a daughter-in-law and 2 beautiful granddaughters. They serve through leadership development and discipleship, music, Bible study and more. Brenda loves to bake and crochet, have tea and chats with her friends.

One Comment

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  • Dear Brenda,
    Thanks for the lovely recipe! The other recipe for Irish Soda Bread I have comes from my uncle in Baltimore, Ireland. We plan to visit him in the spring, and I was wondering if we could pay you a visit? My husband and I recently retired early due to a back injury, and we are looking for a place of ministry something like yours; we both enjoy and have taught both Sunday School and children’s choir, and we both have done public speaking. We sing and play guitar and dulcimer. We would love to correspond with you and your husband on this. We are currently training through Evangelism Explosion and enjoying sharing our faith.
    We are members of a conservative Presbyterian church, both with reformed Baptist leanings and backgrounds. We hope also to visit missionary friends in the UK with World Witness.
    Marianne Miller, Tennessee, USA

    • Hi Marianne,
      I will send your contact information to Brenda and we will get back to you via email. Thanks for reaching out!

      • Thank you, Jessica! Brenda and I have been corresponding ever since! We have become friends via email and have discovered much in common between Brenda and Bruce and my husband Dan and me, besides our love for Christ. You have been a great help to all four of us!

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