Recipe: Sourdough Irish Soda Bread

I’ve tried to get back to my cultural roots since becoming a mom, and found that using fermented and cultured food is a great way to show my children what our ancestors ate back in “the old country”. It’s rewarding to know that I can pass down a piece of my family’s history that my girls can one day teach their children. When St. Patty’s Day rolled around, I realized the CFH site didn’t have an Irish Soda bread recipe. This was a problem that needed fixing! What’s an Irish girl to do (…well at least part Irish)!
 I’ve made many of my own recipes when I was a pastry chef, but I’m a little rusty.

Having a two year old doesn’t leave much time for experimenting, but Irish Soda Bread I can do! This recipe is so simple to make (no proofing required), and great for someone who is new to the world of sourdough! I wanted a fairly traditional soda bread, but with the added flavor of my sourdough starter. I used whole wheat flour, stone-ground of course. To me it makes it seem more like what Grandma used to eat. I used some of my discarded Parisian Sourdough Starter that I’ve been culturing for a few weeks. You can use fresh starter for this recipe, but since the baking soda is doing most of the heavy lifting, there is no need for proofing.  The ingredients and directions for the recipe follow the photos below.  Enjoy!

Ingredients for making sourdough Irish soda bread

My mise en place (old chef terms die hard)

Mixed flour, salt, and baking soda in a bowl

Crumbly stage

Crumbled mixed ingredients

Dough after mixing, but before kneading… Here comes the hard part! (rolling up my sleeves)


Two equal sizes (just eyeball it)

Shaped breads with X cuts in the middle

Shaped and cut loaves. I cut nice deep Xs into my loaves… I just love how it looks in the end!

round bread and egg wash

Adding the egg wash… I own a lot of lime green utensils, love that color!

Sourdough Irish soda bread

Golden delicious Sourdough Irish Soda Bread! Enjoy!

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  • 3 ½ cups Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • ¼ cup Butter (cold and cut into pieces)
  • 1 ½ cups Sourdough Starter (fresh or discarded)
  • 1 cup Buttermilk
  • ¼ cup Honey
  • 1 Egg (egg wash)


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a bowl or stand mixer, combine flour, salt, and baking soda.
  3. Cut cold butter into dry mix until crumbly.
  4. In a separate bowl mix the sourdough starter, buttermilk, and honey.
  5. Slowly mix the buttermilk/sourdough mixture into the dry mix until dough forms.
  6. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. About 20-30 minutes.
  7. Cut dough in half and form two loaves.
  8. Place on a baking sheet, and make and X cut on top of each loaf. (No proofing required)
  9. Brush with egg wash and bake for 30-45 minutes, or until 180°F internal temperature.