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Sourdough Irish Soda Bread

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This simple and quick sourdough Irish Soda Bread is a great recipe to use your unfed sourdough discard in. Tender and flavorful, this loaf of bread is like a quick scone.

irish soda bread with sourdough on wooden cutting board

Irish soda bread is not leavened with yeast but instead relies on baking soda and baking powder. The addition of sourdough here doesn’t have any effect on its rise, and it doesn’t need any fermentation time. This is just a quick and delicious way to use your sourdough discard! 

Traditional soda bread includes orange zest and dried currants, which produce an amazingly flavorful bread perfect for breakfast or tea time! I left those out of this loaf so it is more multi-purpose, but if you are feeling fancy, definitely add some in! You could also add in caraway seeds.

Did you know that soda bread has the “X” cut on the top so that it lets the fairies out? I don’t really know why fairies are getting into the bread dough, but apparently they need some help escaping. 

sourdough irish soda bread loaf on cutting board with two slices beside it

Other great recipes that use your sourdough discard:

  • Sourdough Naan – Sourdough naan is so easy its foolproof! Nothing is better than fresh off the griddle flatbread, and this naan recipe is exactly that! Delicious and flavorful naan is right around the corner with this great recipe!
  • Sourdough Cornbread – This  sourdough cornbread has great cornbread flavor with just a little sourdough pizzaz. Baked in a cast iron skillet, this sourdough cornbread has a crisp crust with a tender,  moist, center without being too “cake like”. 
  • Sourdough Chocolate Cake – This decadent and rich chocolate sourdough cake recipe is a showstopping dessert!
slices of sourdough irish soda bread smeared with butter and drizzled with honey

Irish soda bread made with sourdough discard

This soda bread version uses sourdough discard to give it a little extra tang in its flavor. Because this recipe is so quick (no fermentation time), this recipe is perfect to use your unfed sourdough discard in. Read more about how to feed and take care of your sourdough starter

wooden cutting board with bread knife, on it is a loaf of sourdough soda bread with some slices cut and buttered and drizzled in honey

How to make Irish soda bread with sourdough discard:

This is a very simple and easy recipe to make. Please scroll down to the recipe card below for the full recipe and directions, but here is a general overview of the process.

  1. Preheat your oven and place of parchment paper on a baking sheet and set aside.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, mix together the dry ingredients with a fork.
  3. In a separate medium mixing bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients, including the sourdough starter and the egg.
  4. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined and it mostly forms a ball.
  5. Dump the ball of dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead just 2 or 3 times, until it comes together.
  6. Place the dough onto the prepared baking sheet.
  7. Using a sharp knife, cut a deep “X” into the top of the dough. You want it to go down about ⅓ of the way through the dough round.
  8. Brush with buttermilk.
  9. Bake!
  10. Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes before slicing and eating!
collage image showing steps to make sourdough irish soda bread

How do you serve this bread?

This bread is great in so many ways! 

Serve warm from the oven with butter and honey or jam as a snack.

You can also serve this as a side dish with a warm and comforting meal like Slow Cooker Irish Potato Soup, or easy chicken chili with apples, or even herbed steak sheet pan dinner

Its also great sliced and toasted in a sandwich! 

sourdough irish soda bread loaf on wooden cutting board

Kids in the kitchen: How your kids can help you cook.

Getting your kids in the kitchen with you is an amazing way to help kids be more interested in trying foods and confident in their own abilities. This easy bread recipe is great because it helps them learn about baking bread and they get to practice their kneading. 

This recipe is perfect for beginner sourdough bakers because it is so easy! And it is a great recipe for kids to experiment and become more comfortable with new flavors – which means they are more likely to eat it!

  • Kids aged 1-3 can help you measure out the ingredients and mix things together.
  • Kids aged 4-6 can do everything above, plus help you mix and knead the dough, shape it into a circle, and help brush the buttermilk on top.
  • Kids aged 7-10+ can help you do everything above, plus help you cut the X in the dough.

*Please note that these recommendations are generalized, and to please use your personal discretion with your child’s skill level. And always, always supervise! Read more about how to have your children help you in the kitchen.

irish soda bread slices with child's hand taking a piece

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Want to save this for later? PIN THIS TO YOUR SOURDOUGH BOARD on Pinterest!

graphic for sourdough course - reads "new to sourdough? learn the skills to impress your family and friends with your sourdough baking. Click here".
loaf of irish soda bread with sourdough discard on wooden cutting board
graphic for sourdough course - reads "new to sourdough? learn the skills to impress your family and friends with your sourdough baking. Click here".
Yield: 1 loaf

Sourdough Irish Soda Bread

Sourdough Irish Soda Bread

This Sourdough Irish Soda Bread recipe is a great way to use your sourdough discard. Perfect with any soup or chili recipe!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unfed sourdough starter discard
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 TBSP butter, melted
  • 2-3 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 TBSP sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl whisk together the starter, egg, butter and buttermilk.
  3. In a large bowl whisk together 2 cups flour, oats, baking soda, baking powder, sugar, and salt.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix together to form a sticky dough. (if its too dry and crumbly add a little more buttermilk, if its way too sticky add some more flour. You want it sticky but not so sticky you can't form it into a ball).
  5. Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead two or three times.
  6. Lightly flour the prepared baking sheet and place the ball of dough in the center.
  7. Cut a deep "X" on the top (the cuts should go at least 1/3 the way through the dough).
  8. Brush the top of the dough with buttermilk.
  9. Bake 35-40 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.
  10. Let cool 15 minutes before cutting.
  11. Enjoy!

Notes

Note: You can add in the zest of 1 orange + 1 cup dried currants for a more sweet bread loaf. You can also add in 2 TBSP of carraway seeds (but I wouldn’t do that with the currants and zest, this is an either/or situation).

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 462Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 555mgCarbohydrates: 89gFiber: 4gSugar: 3gProtein: 13g

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram, and don't forget to tag #gingeredwhisk.

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Libby Lamour

Saturday 27th of August 2022

I made this recipe and my dough was too sticky but the final result was still good and really tasty. I want to make it again soon and will put the wet ingredients in my large bowl first, then add my premised dry ingredients, and gradually incorporate more flour until I have the right consistency.

Dusty

Thursday 21st of April 2022

Has anyone tried baking this bread in an air fryer?

Carol

Saturday 12th of February 2022

Thank you Jenni, I made double loaves and this is the second time I’ve made this in 2 weeks. I’m going to try caraway and grated cheddar next time. Love your recipe from Parksville on Vancouver Island BC

DKC

Thursday 3rd of June 2021

Hi! I was so surprised by how good this recipe is (that's no shade on you or your recipe! The surprise was just because my traditional Irish soda bread recipe, and even my usual go-to sourdough soda bread recipes both call for significantly more butter and sugar than yours does. I could not taste the difference, however!)

I do have a question about the butter though. You have it going in with the wet ingredients; are we supposed to melt it first? In my other soda bread recipes, the butter gets cut in by hand with the dry ingredients, and I just can't get it to not be in awkward chunks when I put it in with the wet ingredients for this recipe. I've tried grating it in, slicing it in, etc., but it just ends up clumping into big balls of butter once I stir the wet ingredients together before adding to the dry ingredients.

Any advice/suggestions would be welcomed!

Jenni

Friday 11th of June 2021

Hi Devin! Yes, the butter should be melted! Thanks for bringing that to my attention, I have fixed that now!

Lisa

Sunday 14th of March 2021

The recipe looks delicious and I am planning to bake some on Wed... just curious, how did you arrive at 462 calories per serving (1/12 loaf)? Seems a bit high.

Jenni

Tuesday 16th of March 2021

The nutritional calculations are all done by the recipe card, and it cannot handle sourdough starter! Its purely an estimation, I would definitely use your own tracking if you need to track those things.

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