Caraway Soda Bread

St. Patrick's DayBakingIrishSoda Bread

Irish soda bread with flour, baking soda, buttermilk, and caraway seeds. Easy to make, no need for a mixer.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

One of the things I love about making soda bread is that it is just so darn easy.

With yeast breads you have to proof the yeast, knead the dough, let the dough rise, etc.

Our Favorite Videos

But with soda breads? There’s no proofing, kneading, or waiting.

In fact, because the leavening comes from mixing the base of the baking soda with the acid in the buttermilk (remember those fascinating-at-the-time childhood experiments of sprinkling vinegar onto baking soda?), you pretty much pop it in the oven as soon as you put the dough together.

The trick is to use a light hand, just work the dough barely enough to bring it together. It looks like a sheep-doggy shaggy mess, but it bakes up beautifully—lightly browned and crusty on the outside, while soft and tender on the inside.

As for the caraway seeds in this soda bread, these are included on the light side, giving a not-so-over powering caraway kick to the bread.

Caraway Soda Bread Recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: Makes one loaf


  • 3 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour (1 pound)
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons caraway seeds
  • 4 Tbsp butter (1/2 stick) room temp
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk*

*If necessary, you can substitute buttermilk with a half cup of plain yogurt mixed in with a cup of plain milk and a tablespoon of white vinegar.


1 Preheat oven to 450°F. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, and caraway seeds.

2 Using your fingers (or a fork) work the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles a coarse meal.

3 Make a well in the center of the flour. Pour the buttermilk into the center and using either your hands or a wooden spoon, fold the flour over the buttermilk and gently mix until just combined.

The dough should be neither too wet or too dry, so if it is a little too dry to work with, add a little more buttermilk. If too wet, add a little more flour. Roughly shape into a ball and place on a floured surface. Knead just a few times to shape it into a round loaf. Do not over-knead or the bread will be tough.

4 Place dough loaf onto a lightly greased baking sheet (or cast iron pan). Make 1 1/2-inch deep cuts, forming a cross, from side to side on the loaf. The scoring helps the heat get to the center of the loaf while cooking.

5 Place in oven, cook for 15 minutes at 450°F, then lower the heat to 400°F and cook for 25 more minutes. One way to test for doneness is to take it out of the oven, turn it over and knock on the bottom. If it sounds hollow, it's done. You can also use a skewer inserted into the center.

Let bread sit on the baking sheet for 5-10 minutes to cool. Then remove it to a rack to cool a little bit longer. I think the bread is best when it is still warm and just baked. Quick breads like this, which rely on baking soda for leavening, are generally best eaten soon after they're baked.

Hello! All photos and content are copyright protected. Please do not use our photos without prior written permission. Thank you!

This post may contain links to Amazon or other partners; your purchases via these links can benefit Simply Recipes. Read more about our affiliate linking policy.

Caraway Soda Bread

Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

More from Elise

35 Comments / Reviews

No ImageCaraway Soda Bread

Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Brian

    I followed the directions precisely, and this bread came out so delicious!
    It paired very well with some Guinness Stew.


  2. Matthew

    Made this today to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Yummy, crusty outside with delicious flavor. Added a bit more caraway seeds for stronger flavor. Super easy. Will be making this again.


  3. Jay

    Not sure why this is a dedicated & separate Recipe than the Irish Soda Bread one listed here? Only difference I can find is less Flour and No Egg yet all other ingredients remain the same?
    Then the Temperature is at High Heat (450) for 15 min, then reduced for another 25min at (400) which equal same amount of time for the Irish Soda Bread but that is 35min at 425 deg.
    Wouldn’t it just make sense to use the Irish Soda Bread Recipe and just ADD the Caraway? Thats what I do & is very simple as well as delicious. In fact, I add all sorts of combinations to the Irish Soda Recipe (cranberries/caraway/chopped walnut bits/raisins/currants. ).
    I’m sure theres a reason for Less Flour & therefore, no Egg in Caraway Bread Recipe? Just can’t figure out what that would be. Texture? Size?
    I suppose I will try it out & see if I can find the difference for myself, but just wondering why from the Source.
    Thank you for the Irish Soda Bread Recipe as it is delicious. I have compared it to MANY versions over the years but one still remains my favorite & outranks the others.

    Saratoga Springs, NY

    Show Replies (1)
  4. Rupali

    I’ve made this bread for St Patrick’s Day potluck at work for the past 4 years and it’s always a hit. Will be making it again this week!


  5. Amber Green

    Thank you for the inspiration for this recipe. Because I’m a vegan, I swapped the buttermilk to soya yogurt, and it worked a treat! Absolutely delicious and very moreish ;). Thanks, Amber.

View More
Caraway Soda BreadCaraway Soda Bread