St Patrick’ Day: Irish Brown Soda Bread

irish brown soda bread

We recently celebrated our “5 year moving to Ireland Anniversary,” so this will be our 5th St Patricks Day living over here in Ireland.  Until I met my husband this wasn’t a festival I would have taken much notice of, but now it has become a big occasion for our family. The kids are so excited  about going to watch our local parade on the day itself. They were lucky enough to march in it last year with our local GAA Club. We are just hoping that it is a dry day, as it has rained for 3 out of the 4 St Patricks Days we have celebrated over here so far! A travelling fun fair arrives in a nearby town for a few days and a trip to this has quickly a tradition as well. Last year the kids were getting very brave on the rides, so this year should be really fun.

Our two sons are starting to develop little Irish accents now which is amusing my family back in Yorkshire no end. They are both in school full time and are embracing learning the traditional Irish language. To them it’s a just another subject to learn and we think it will stand them in good stead for learning other languages in the future. It’s just a shame we can’t help them with it as we have no clue. Luckily we have family on hand to help when the kids start to bring the Irish home work home.

Now I may not have embraced the traditional language, but I have been embracing the traditional recipes of Ireland. I had never heard of Irish Brown Soda Bread until my husband brought me over to visit his family for the first time 12 years ago. Since moving over I ‘ve tried umpteen different recipes out and I like to think I have it down to a fine art now.

How to make Irish Brown Soda Bread


400 g wholemeal flour

75g plain flour

1 tsp salt

1tsp bicarbonate of soda

1 tbsp olive oil

¾ pint buttermilk

Measure out all of the ingredients and place them into a mixing bowl.
Then thoroughly mix them together,  making sure not to leave any dry bits of flour in the bottom of the bowl.

You will be left with a wet sticky dough which does not need to be left to rise, as this is a yeast free recipe, so simply pour the mixture into a large loaf tin and pop it into the oven.

It takes arond 1 hour (at 200C) to bake and when it is looking lovely and golden brown on the top and feels hollow when you tap the bottom turn it out onto a wire rack and leave it to cool.


This is delicious served with hot soups or with lashing of honey and butter for breakfast. It keeps really well for a few days if you keep it in an airtight container.

Time to eat





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