If you’re out of yeast but need a crusty artisan loaf of bread, learn how to make bread without yeast with this easy Soda Bread Recipe.

Watch the How to Make Bread Without Yeast – East Irish Soda Bread Video

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What Is Soda Bread?

If you’re all out of yeast but in need of a crusty artisan loaf of bread, learn How to Make Bread without Yeast with this easy Soda Bread Recipe.

A Soda Bread—or “Irish” Soda Bread as we call it here in the United States—is a quick bread made without yeast. Instead of yeast, you use baking soda as the ingredient that will help your bread to rise. You simply mix all your ingredients together and move right to the baking phase with no wait time necessary for the dough to rise, as with traditional yeast breads.

A Close Second to a Yeast-Risen Artisan Loaf

If you find yourself at home and need bread, but you can’t leave home for one reason or another, or if your grocery store is simply out of bread (or yeast), then a soda bread you bake yourself can save the day. This recipe is as close as you are going to get to a crusty artisan loaf of traditional yeast-risen bread.

A Few Simple Ingredients

For this soda bread, all you need is a few simple ingredients.  And the ingredients can be very flexible.  You can use:

Very Little Work Creates a Delicious Reward

Once you gather your ingredients, mix everything until the flour is moistened and forms a ball. All it takes is a gentle hand. No kneading is required. (As a matter of fact, you don’t want to mix this dough too much.) Your dough will be wet and sticky, but you only need to shape it into a round, then pat it down and pop it in the oven. It really couldn’t be easier!

So watch the recipe video, print out the recipe, and let’s get baking.  In about 30 minutes, you’ll take a gloriously light and deliciously fresh home-baked bread out of your oven.  Eat it plain, or slather it with butter and jam.  Either way, it’s going to be scrumptious!

More Bread Recipes

Whether you want to bake bread with or without yeast, with sourdough, with all-purpose flour, whole grains, or even sprouted flour, I have you covered with my complete video collection of bread-baking videos. Enjoy!

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Easy Irish Soda Bread

5 from 1 vote
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 35 minutes
Yield: 8 servings
If you're out of yeast but need a crusty artisan loaf of bread, learn how to make bread without yeast with this easy Soda Bread Recipe.


  • Baking Sheet, Cast Iron Frying Pan, or Cake Pan
  • Additional options include a Dutch Oven


  • 3 cups All-purpose flour Whole grain flour may be substituted
  • 1 teaspoon Fine ground salt
  • 1 teaspoon Baking soda If using baking powder in place of baking soda, add 1 tablespoon
  • 1 1/2 cups Buttermilk or buttermilk substitute If you are using all whole grain flour, increase buttermilk (or buttermilk substitute) by an additional 1/4 cup for a total of 1 3/4 cups.
  • 2 tablespoons Butter, unsalted and cold See "Notes" below.
  • 2 tablespoons Old-fashioned rolled oats See "Notes" below.
  • 1 cup Dried fruit, optional See "Notes" below.
  • 1 Egg, optional See "Notes" below.


  • Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C).
  • In a large bowl, mix flour, salt, and baking soda together.
  • Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add buttermilk.
  • Mix the ingredients gently with an open hand until the mixture comes together. (See video.) Do not over mix.
  • Remove the dough from the bowl and place it on a floured surface.
  • With a few turns, shape the dough into a round.
  • Transfer the dough to the baking sheet (or another piece of equipment being used for baking bread).
  • Flatten dough to 1 1/2 inches.
  • Take a sharp knife and make a cross on top of the flattened dough.
  • Next, use the tip of the knife to make four small indentations on top of each quarter of the dough. (See video.)
  • Add a small bit of water to the measuring cup that held the buttermilk and brush this mixture across the top of the dough.
  • Transfer the baking sheet with the dough to the middle rack of the preheated oven.
  • Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown on top and a toothpick inserted in the center of the bread comes out clean.
  • Transfer bread to a cooling rack and allow to cool before slicing.



Adding Butter: If you add butter to this dough, add it into your mixture right after you mix the flour, salt, and baking soda.  Working quickly, mix in the butter with your hands so that the flour resembles coarse sand with a few pea-sized pebbles.
Adding Oats:  If you want to add old-fashioned rolled oats to your bread, mix them in along with the flour, salt, and baking soda.  If you are also adding butter to this mixture, add the oats after adding the butter.
Adding Dried Fruit:  If you want to add dried fruit to your bread, mix them in along with the flour, salt, and baking soda.  Toss the dried fruit thoroughly in the flour so that the dried fruit is well coated with the flour mixture. If you are also adding butter to this mixture, add the dried fruit after adding the butter.
Adding an Egg:  If you are adding an egg to this bread, whisk the egg with the buttermilk before adding it to the flour mixture.
Find this recipe and video at https://marysnest.com/how-to-make-bread-without-yeast-irish-soda-bread/
For more traditional foods recipes and a guide to build your traditional foods kitchen, get my bestselling book, The Modern Pioneer Cookbook, at https://marysnest.com/my-cookbook/
Copyright © 2020 Mary’s Nest, LLC, All Rights Reserved


Calories: 289kcal | Carbohydrates: 53g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 33mg | Sodium: 514mg | Potassium: 265mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 205IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 80mg | Iron: 3mg
Course: Breads
Cuisine: Irish
Calories: 289
Keyword: Irish Soda Bread, Quick Bread, Soda Bread
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  1. AIM says:

    Hello Mary,
    I am interested in making this bread (ran out of yeast 2-weeks ago and miss homemade bread). Would it change anything in its rising process if I added sugar or honey to balance out the salt?
    Thank you for all that you do with sharing your traditional cooking!

    1. Mary's Nest says:

      Hi AIM,

      Thanks for your comment. That’s no problem at all. You can add a sweetener to your Irish Soda Bread.

      Thanks for your kind words. I’m so happy that you’re here and on this traditional foods journey with me!

      Love and God bless,

  2. miriam greco says:

    5 stars
    need the exact measurements for a 1 1/2 cup substitution for buttermilk , amt of vinegar or lemon juice, ???? please , always shows for 1 cup on all sites i see, appreciate it, i have 2% milk so assist me pleae Mary all your recipes are just great

    1. Mary's Nest says:

      Hi Miriam, Don’t worry – it really isn’t an exact science. I would add about a tablespoon or so of vinegar or lemon juice to your 1 1/2 cups of liquid and see if it thickens. If not, you can always add more. Thanks for the kind words!! Love, mary

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