Gran’s Irish Bread Recipe

A recipe that Gran sent me for Irish soda bread. What I love about her recipes is that they are written in prose-style, and they use terms like “pinch of this” instead of exact amounts. Basically, her recipes give you a lot of leeway so you can make them your own.

You requested a recipe for soda bread.

I usually use l6 ounces of self-raising flour. A lot of people like to use plain flour and sieve in two level  teaspoonfuls of bicarbonate of soda.  Add two teaspoonfuls of salt
and make a well in the centre.  Then mix in a pint of milk or buttermilk if
you can get it. Buttermilk makes a nice taste off the bread.  If you want to
make brown bread use 10 ounces of flour and 6 ounces of wheaten meal and mix
lightly and bake in a medium hot oven for approximately l hour.

If you would like  to make currant bread just add some sultanas or raisins to the flour.
Nowadays people like to cut down on the salt, so just use a bit less salt.
You will get used to using your own recipe and you can bake it to your own
taste.  There is not much to go wrong with it but the buttermilk does make a
difference so I hope it will be easy to obtain.  Also knead very lightly to
make a nice round loaf.  Cut a cross in the top and bake in a lightly-floured
tin.  Keep an eye on it when it comes close to the hour and take it out of the
oven when it is nicely brown all over.

Hope this makes sense.  Good luck and feel free to make any changes you like to suit your own tastes.


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  1. I love how she calls baking soda “bicarbonate of soda” – an Irish chemist, she is!

    This is something I love about passed down recipes, especially the low-maintenance ones. She gives you the freedom (and pleasure) of making something your own. There’s nothing I hate more than a recipe Nazi who refuses to allow any wiggle room for creativity or personal taste!
    Twitter: TheBareMidriff