This sourdough Irish soda bread recipe is so easy to make. You will love the deeper taste and moist but light texture!
Looking for a delicious soda bread to enjoy at home? Then you have to try this easy recipe for Sourdough Irish Soda Bread!
Get ready to savor the perfect combination of sourdough and flavor in this Irish soda bread recipe!
Moist, with a good crumb, and full of the whole flavor profile, this soda bread will make a delicious and stunning appearance not only at your next St. Patrick’s dinner.
Why you’ll love this recipe
Who doesn’t love a good soda bread? If you need more reasons, here’s why I love this recipe:
- it is very quick to make
- you only use one bowl
- it uses basic ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen
- by adding sourdough you’re taking this traditional soda bread to the next level
- it is such an easy recipe that even kids can make it
What are the ingredients
Here are what you need to make this recipe:
- Sourdough starter: if you don’t already have a good one going, you can check out this article on how to make your own sourdough starter without discards or feedings
- Butter: I always like to make my own butter but I highly recommend Kerrygold butter if you can afford it. Room temperature butter works best in this recipe.
- Buttermilk: when making butter I also get my own buttermilk but get my new favorite buttermilk at your grocery store
- Egg: pasture-raised eggs are best but use whatever eggs you have
- AP flour: I like to use all-purpose flour but any flour will do in this recipe
- Sugar: even though we don’t like this soda bread sweet, a bit of sugar will round out the flavor
- Baking soda: I guess this rising agent is what makes this type of quick bread a soda bread, right?
- Salt: just a bit of sea salt will really elevate the taste of this Irish soda bread
Useful tools and equipment
You probably have everything you need to make this recipe. However, here are a few of my favorites:
- Large stainless steel mixing bowl: while you can absolutely make this recipe in your stand mixer or food processor, I prefer mixing it by hand
- Pastry blender: using a pastry blender will just mix your dough enough to get everything incorporated without overmixing it
- 9″ cast iron skillet: I love cast iron and it’s so easy to make this soda bread in a cast iron skillet
New To Sourdough? Check out My Super Simple Sourdough Course!
Substitutions and variations
Here are a few suggestions on how to vary this recipe:
- Buttermilk: if you don’t have (access to) cultured buttermilk, you can add 1 ½ tsp of lemon juice or vinegar to ¾ cup of milk
- Sugar: as I mentioned before, we prefer to keep this bread on the more savory side but you can add up to 4 TBSP of sugar total if you’d like to make it sweeter.
- Raisins: you can easily add about ½ cup of raisins or cranberries to this recipe if you like
- Orange zest: or you might like to add 1 TBSP of citrus zest
How to serve this sourdough Irish soda bread
The classic way is to serve this loaf of bread on St. Patty’s Day with corned beef and cabbage.
However, you can serve this soda bread any time you like or need a quick bread.
How about enjoying it for breakfast with butter and jam and a cup of tea?
Or serving it with dinner instead of fluffy rolls?
As you can see the possibilities are endless!
Make ahead of time?
Honestly, this sourdough Irish soda bread tastes best on the day that you bake it.
However, you can easily wrap it in a paper bag or tea towel and enjoy it for the next 2-3 days.
More sourdough recipes you might like
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Frequently asked questions:
Yes, you can either use your active sourdough starter but it’s also a great way to use your sourdough discard for this soda bread.
If you like to add some whole grain goodness, I recommend replacing half of the white flour with whole-wheat flour. If your dough ends up being too dry, just add a bit more buttermilk.
For best results, I highly recommend sticking with buttermilk in this recipe. The baking soda needs the acidity of the buttermilk to create the light texture.
There seem to be many different explanations but I like the one about it letting the fairies out. Regardless, it also helps the bread rise better in the oven.
You don’t! You can place your soda bread on piece of parchment paper on a cookie sheet and bake it like that. I like the brown bottom of baking it in cast iron. You can even bake it in a Dutch oven for an improved crust and more rise.
You can keep this sourdough soda bread for 2-3 days. If you’d like to freeze it, you can wrap it tightly in aluminum foil and then plastic wrap and keep it in the freezer for up to 2 months.
How to make this dish
Just follow these simple steps:
- Preheat your oven to 375˚F.
- To a medium-large bowl, add the wet ingredients: the egg, buttermilk, sourdough starter, and butter.
- Gently mix these ingredients.
- Now add the dry ingredients: the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt.
- Using a pastry blender, mix this dough until all the ingredients are just combined without overmixing the dough.
- If the dough is still very sticky you can either add a bit more flour or dust your hands with flour to handle it.
- Shape the dough into a round loaf.
- Place the dough ball in your cast iron skillet.
- With a sharp knife, cut an X into the top of the bread.
- Brush the top of the bread with melted butter.
- Place the bread in the oven and bake for 45-55 mins or until golden brown and a knife or toothpick comes out clean.
- Remove the bread from the cast iron skillet and let cool down on a wire rack.
Easy Sourdough Irish Soda Bread
- 1 cup sourdough starter
- 4 TBSP butter, at room temperature
- 1 whole egg
- ¾ cups buttermilk
- 3 cups AP flour
- 1 TBSP sugar
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 ½ tsp sea salt
- melted butter for brushing top of bread
- Preheat your oven to 375˚F.
- Add the wet ingredients to a medium bowl and mix.
- Add the dry ingredients and fold in until combined but still a bit shaggy.
- Form the dough into a round loaf. If it is too wet, used floured hands.
- Place the dough ball into a 9" cast iron skillet or onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
- With a sharp knife cut an X into the loaf.
- Brush the top of the loaf with melted butter.
- Bake for 45-55 mins or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Gently remove the soda bread from the cast iron skillet and let cool down on a wire rack.
- this soda bread is best on the day of baking but will keep for 2-3 days on your counter
- you can use active sourdough starter or sourdough discard for this recipe
- this recipe use very little sugar; if you like your soda bread sweeter you can use up to 4 TBSP sugar in total
- feel free to add ½ cup raisins or cranberries or 1 TBSP of orange zest