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Whole Wheat Irish Soda Bread


A whole wheat version of traditional Irish Soda Bread which doesn’t use yeast to rise, but uses baking soda instead. This Whole Wheat Irish Soda Bread is dense, but amazingly soft and the perfect side dish to serve with an Irish dinner on St. Patrick’s Day!

Whole Wheat Irish Soda Bread with a 3 leaf clover shape cut out.

Traditional Irish Soda Bread

An amazing way to teach your kids about other cultures is through food. In Ireland, Irish Soda Bread is made by using baking soda as it’s rising agent, rather than yeast.  It is reported this was used instead because of the soft wheat they grow. They say traditional and pure soda bread is only made with flour, baking soda, salt, and soured buttermilk.  We don’t always have buttermilk on hand and so we have often made our own.

How to Make Your Own Buttermilk

If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, you can make your own!   To make your own buttermilk, all you need is to add:

Let milk and lemon juice sit for at least 5 or more minutes. Then add to your recipe.

Adding Whole Wheat to Your Irish Soda Bread

Kernels of whole wheat in a bowl

I love the simplicity of this recipe! This Whole Wheat Irish Soda bread is almost like the artisan bread with fewer ingredients, and little prep time because it doesn’t have to raise. These kinds of bread recipes are always appealing to me because you don’t have to think so far ahead.   I love also the incorporation of whole wheat flour (the finer you have it ground the better, as the flour in Ireland is very soft). If you prefer to use all whole wheat white flour, it will definitely work in this recipe. We like the dense texture of adding regular whole wheat because it makes a great bread to serve with Irish Chicken and Dumplings!

More Recipes for St. Patrick’s Day

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3.5 from 13 votes

Whole Wheat Irish Soda Bread

Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time35 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Irish
Servings: 6



  • In a large bowl or mixer, mix dry ingredients together
  • Add buttermilk and mix until flour mixture is moistened. Do not over mix.
  • Knead only to shape the dough into a round ball or oval depending on the pan you are using.
  • Bake at 425 degrees F for 35-45 minutes.
Keyword : irish soda bread


Let wet ingredients sit for five minutes or longer.  Add to the dry ingredients and mix until flour is moistened and slightly knead. It should not be over-mixed.   Place ball of dough onto a pan, and bake at 425 for 30-45 minutes.

Natalie Monson

I'm a registered dietitian, mom of 4, avid lover of food and strong promoter of healthy habits. Here you will find lots of delicious recipes full of fruits and veggies, tips for getting your kids to eat better and become intuitive eaters and lots of resources for feeding your family.

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I will try this! It sounds very similar to a simple beer bread I recently wrote about. I’m a collector or easy bread recipes. Thanks.

This is a great idea about trying foods from different worlds. I want to do this with my kids over the summer. I’ve been telling them that we will check out books and read about other places in the world and we will cook something and each of us (me included) will do a report on it. My other plan is for us to learn the capitals of each state too. Thanks for this great bread recipe, my mom and sister went to Ireland last year and loved it. My sister is ready to go back and just stay there she said. I’m so glad all these ladies could give you ideas for this week. I tried and didn’t have anything that you didn’t mention already.

As a full-blood Irish red-head, my grandmother always taught me to put currants and/or raisens in it…very yummy!