Society for the Preservation of Irish Soda Bread

The Society for the Preservation of Irish Soda Bread. Information on the History and Preparation of Traditional Irish Soda Bread as created by our ancestors..

This site is here to encourage modern bakers to get in touch with their Irish roots and use the traditional ingredients/recipes when making "traditional Irish soda bread."  Sure, make the fancy desserts for St. Patrick's Day, but save a spot on the table for Irish soda bread to remember how far the Irish have come from the days when it was the only thing on the table to today when our tables are filled with good things to eat and thoughts of the Famine years (An Gorta Mor) are long forgotten.


Flour, Salt, Baking Soda, Buttermilk.  

Anything else added makes it a "Tea Cake!"

Support the Site by visiting the Irish Eat Shop link.

Oldest reference to a published Soda Bread recipe: County Down, Ireland NOV 1836.

From November 1836 Farmer’s Magazine (London) VOL 5  p.328 referencing an Irish newspaper in County Down

"A correspondent of the Newry Telegraph gives the following receipt for making " soda bread," stating that "there is no bread to be had equal to it for invigorating the body, promoting digestion, strengthening the stomach, and improving the state of the bowels." He says, "put a pound and a half of good wheaten meal into a large bowl, mix with it two teaspoonfuls of finely-powdered salt, then take a large teaspoonful of super-carbonate of soda,% dissolve it in half a teacupful of cold water, and add it to the meal; rub up all intimately together, then pour into the bowl as much very sour buttermilk as will make the whole into soft dough (it should be as soft as could possibly be handled, and the softer the better,) form it into a cake of about an inch thickness, and put it into a flat Dutch oven or frying-pan, with some metallic cover, such as an oven-lid or griddle, apply a moderate heat underneath for twenty minutes, then lay some clear live coals upon the lid, and keep it so for half an hour longer (the under heat being allowed to fall off gradually for the last fifteen minutes,) taking off the cover occasionally to see that it does not burn. "  This, he concludes, when somewhat cooled and moderately buttered, is as wholesome food as ever entered man's stomach.  Wm. Clacker, Esq., of Gosford, has ordered a sample of the bread to be prepared, and a quantity of the meal to be kept for sale at the Markethill Temperance Soup and Coffee Rooms."


This same exact story was repeated in English and American newspapers and magazines over the next few years so it is possible that the Farmer's Magazine reprint may not be the first one.  It is, however, the only documented copy discovered so far.

If you know of a reference prior to 1836, please let us know at

Note: If you are going to use and publish our research in your article or site, we would appreciate, at the very least,  credit and a link to our site.

Copyright 2003: Edward J. O'Dwyer