Whole Wheat Irish Soda Bread

Whole Wheat Irish Soda Bread

Здраво and Hello! My, are you in for a treat! Because there’s some simply scrumptious whole wheat Irish soda bread coming your way! Brought to you by Jelena from Apple-Green.com.

No matter what shade of Irish you may be, let’s tuck in!

Hailing from Serbia and Poland, the Apple Green mission is to provide an inspired and tasty solution for your next meal. Because remember: Kitchen creativity knows no borders.

Visit us at Apple-Green.com or check out our roasty toasty post here on the ANTIblog, featuring a very special unleavened bread recipe and a cracking Polish bread made with soda. Both been baked up especially for the Irish Buzz project.

Foodies of the world unite!

Whole wheat Irish soda bread is so simple!

Bread is important in many cultures, but the different types of bread and methods of preparing them are unique to each. While some types of bread do require time and skill in order to achieve a perfect loaf, this is typically not a category unleavened bread falls into. For there are some really good and healthy bread recipes like whole wheat Irish soda bread that are very straightforward and can be made without much effort.

Plus it’s much healthier to make your own bread, even though it might not always be perfect – knowing what you put into it can compensate for any imperfections.

Savory Quick Bread Recipes

Whole wheat Irish Soda bread is probably one of the easiest savory quick bread recipes, even for absolute beginners. You don’t have to knead much at all, nor wait for it to rise, just mix the ingredients together and straight into the oven. Do knead it a quick few times through, to help get the juices flowing, but no need to get physical!

This is possible because of the reaction that happens between soda bicarbonate and buttermilk: when mixed together they create tiny bubbles of carbon dioxide. Buttermilk can also be replaced with soured milk, yogurt or whey, but also lemon or vinegar mixed with water will create the same reaction – so whatever is available at home, so why not try using whatever you have about the place to create your own unique savory quick bread recipes?

Irish Soda Bread History

When we think of soda bread our thoughts turn towards Ireland, but not many people go past Irish soda bread history and find out about its origin. The very first soda bread was actually made by Native Americans, who even before the discovery of baking soda used pearl ash as a leavening agent.

The first recipe containing baking soda that was written down and published comes from the US and dates back to 1796. But only a century later did it make its way to Europe, forming an early association with Ireland, where traditional Irish soda bread was created.

A delicious loaf using very basic ingredients

Due to economic hardship in the country and a lack of ingredients, this simple unleavened bread recipe immediately became popular, up there with the traditional bannocks prepared in the country since ancient times. What later would become renown the world over as ‘Irish Soda Bread’ allowed people to prepare a delicious loaf using very basic ingredients: flour, buttermilk, baking soda and salt.

Irish food traditions saw the bread not baked in the oven as nowadays but either on griddles or in iron cast pots over fire, due to a lack of equipment. There are many variations of soda bread in Irish baking, including your typical savory quick bread recipes, but also sweet bread recipes, coming in all shapes and sizes, and made with different flours.

Irish Food Traditions

Today Irish food traditions are still very strong in Ireland’s cuisine, the flavor and aroma unique to the country, inviting tourists from around the world to try it during their visit. The treats of Irish baking are particularly popular around St. Patrick’s Day, when people celebrate that special March festival while enjoying traditional Irish cuisine.

I came across soda bread years ago in a local bakery and thought it was interesting, so I decided to buy it. When I brought it home, I just spread some butter on it and enjoyed the full flavor, regretting only the fact that it was already cold. I checked out some recipes and I was very surprised at how simple it would be to make my own. I gathered all the ingredients and prepared my very first soda bread.

When I tried it, all my senses were suddenly awoken and I knew that homemade is the only way.

When I put it in the oven, I could smell it everywhere and I couldn’t wait to try it. The smell was very tempting and I remember thinking that I cannot possibly get that full experience when I buy it in the shop. And when I tried it, all my senses were suddenly awoken and I knew that homemade is the only way I will ever eat it.

So, this is my favorite Irish soda bread recipe, made from only four ingredients: strong bread flour, buttermilk, bicarbonate of soda and salt. For more great breads that are a delight for the belly and easy on the arms, see our Recipes section over at Apple Green.

Whole wheat Irish soda bread
Piping hot soda bread – the high point of human endeavor?

Ingredients for Whole Wheat Irish Soda Bread

4 cups (500 g) whole wheat flour
2 cups (500 ml) buttermilk
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt


  1. Preheat oven to 420 F (215 C). For a round Irish soda bread, use a cake pan, Grease and then Flouring it. A decent-sized one is best, anywhere around the 10-inches (25cm) in diameter will do nicely. If you’ve just got loaf pans, use that, you’re grand sure. You’ll find no judgment here.
  2. In a large Mixing Bowl, Combine the three dry ingredients. Now slowly Stir in the Buttermilk, bringing the dough together in a ball. Make sure it’s not too sticky and not too sloppy.
  3. Plop the dough onto a floured surface and Give it a short, gentle kneading. Just a few times through will do. Bring the dough into a ball again and Press into the pan. You want a nice round disk of dough. Do your best to press it into all sides of the pan (it’s elastic stuff!).
  4. Just like with bannocks or Irish potato bread, appease the other world by Cutting an X into the top if the dough with a sharp knife. Just a shallow indentation to let the faeries (and the steam) out. Cover the pan, if it ain’t got a cover, Flip another pan upside down and use it as lid.
  5. Bake for 25-30 minutes with the cover on, then remove the lid give it another 10 minutes or so – until the crust has become a lovely rich golden brown.

    Serve as hot as you can handle it!