Traditional Irish Soda Bread Without Buttermilk

Is it possible to make a Traditional Irish Soda Bread recipe without the use of buttermilk? Yes, it is and I'll show you how to make this delicious bread from start to finish in under one hour (it's closer to a 50 minute recipe) with only 5 minutes of hands on time.

Irish Soda Bread is great to serve with a Ham and Cabbage dinner like this one but it isn't just for St. Patrick's Day.

It's a quick bread (not a yeast bread) with simple ingredients and that makes it easy to serve fresh bread year round, even when you're in a pinch for time.

Irish Soda bread without buttermilk on a black wire rack fresh out of the oven

One of the best things about this Irish recipe is that the result is homemade bread with an amazing taste and texture without all of the kitchen time needed for most other bread recipes.

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Notes, etc., for this Easy Irish Soda Bread Recipe

Side view of freshly baked Irish Soda Bread on a brown cutting board
Freshly baked bread on table

Buttermilk Substitute - whole milk and apple cider vinegar used in recipe for Irish Soda Bread made without buttermilk

Glass measuring cup with 1 tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar and whole milk added to make a buttermilk substitute for Irish Soda Bread

Can whole wheat flour be substituted for the all-purpose flour?

Yes, it can.

Can anything be added to this to jazz it up a bit?

Of course! I like to add a cup of raisin to the recipe before stirring in the buttermilk.

What to serve with Irish bread?

I like to serve it fresh with room temperature butter. Kerrygold Pure Irish Butter is a perfect pairing. If serving for breakfast or as a snack, butter and strawberry jam are a great topping choice.

This is also great served with heart soups, like this ham and bean soup, or with corned beef and cabbage.

Freshly sliced Irish Soda Bread without buttermilk on a wooden charcuterie board

Overview of Basic Ingredients for Traditional Soda Bread

The full recipe with instructions are available in the recipe card at the bottom of this post. You can find helpful tips and notes within this blog post itself.


This is an overview of the instructions. Full instructions are in the recipe card at the bottom of the page.

Large mixing bowl with dry ingredients used to make Irish Soda bread without buttermilk

In large mixing bowl place dry ingredients.

Large mixing bowl with buttermilk substitute added

Stir in buttermilk substitute.

forming of dough for round loaf of Irish Soda Bread

Turn onto a floured surface. Knead lightly and form into a round loaf. Using a serrated knife, cut a deep cross (an X) into the top of the loaf. Place on a floured baking tray. Bake until lightly browned.

Fresh out of the oven Irish Soda Bread made without buttermilk

Cool on wire rack.

Freshly baked and sliced loaf of Irish Soda Bread on a wooden charcuterie board

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📖 Recipe

Irish Soda Bread Made Without Buttermilk

Easy and delicious recipe Traditional Irish Soda Bread made without Buttermilk. Sweet and dense homemade bread.
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Fresh out of the oven Irish Soda Bread made without buttermilk
Prep Time:10 minutes
Cook Time:35 minutes
Total Time:45 minutes



  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  • Place 2 tablespoons vinegar in measuring cup. Add enough milk to measure 2 cups. Stir well and allow to sit for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • In large mixing bowl combine dry ingredients (flour, salt, and baking soda).
  • Make small well in center of flour mixture.
  • Stir in milk/vinegar (buttermilk). Mix to a soft dough consistency.
  • Turn on to a floured work surface and knead lightly.
  • Press out into a flat, round cake type loaf, about 2 inches high.
  • Slice an "X" in the top.
  • Place on a floured cookie sheet and bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until lightly browned.
  • When done, it will sound hollow when tapped.
  • Cool on wire rack.
  • Slice and serve!

As with any of my recipes, calorie counts and nutritional information varies greatly depending on which products you choose to use when cooking this dish.


Calories: 212kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 5mg | Sodium: 248mg | Potassium: 118mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 79IU | Calcium: 63mg | Iron: 2mg
Servings: 10 slices
Calories: 212kcal
Author: Mary Beth
Cost: $2.00
Finished loaf of fresh Irish Soda Bread with photo of sliced loaf of bread beneath it on a black background

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