Irish Soda Bread (Farl or Bannock): Easy & Pleasing

In Foodie Tips & Tidbits by Christine McKellar

Call other variations what you will, be it farl or bannock, Irish soda bread is a hale and hearty addition to the traditional St. Patrick’s Day feast of corned beef, cabbage and potatoes. The “soda” is derived from sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) that is used instead of yeast as a leavening agent. Raisins and or nuts can be added to most soda bread recipes at your discretion. Below is an easy recipe sure to please the Irish greenies at your table and hearth.



4 cups all-purpose flour

4 tablespoons white sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup margarine, softened

1 cup buttermilk

1 egg

1/4 cup butter, melted

1/4 cup buttermilk



Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease a large baking sheet.

In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and margarine. Stir in 1 cup of buttermilk and egg. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead slightly. Form dough into a round and place on prepared baking sheet. In a small bowl, combine melted butter with 1/4 cup buttermilk; brush loaf with this mixture. Use a sharp knife to cut an ‘X’ into the top of the loaf.

Bake in preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Check after 30 minutes. Brush the loaf on occasion with the butter mixture while it bakes.