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Irish soda bread on a wire cooling rack

Oregano Onion Soda Bread

  • Author: Emma
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 loaf 1x


Oregano onion soda bread is an easy recipe for a deliciously savory loaf that’s sure to be a hit on St. Patrick’s Day.  This crusty, no yeast bread uses buttermilk and baking soda to make it rise. No machine is required to mix up the dough!


  • 4 1/8 cups bread flour (500g)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sweet onion, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves, chopped
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 2/3 - 2 cups buttermilk (400 ml)


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F.
  2. Rinse the fresh oregano and pat the stems dry.  Remove the leaves by running your fingers down the stem from the top to the bottom, then finely chop the leaves.
  3. Chop the onion, then melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add the onions and cook until golden brown, stirring frequently.
  4. Whisk together the flour, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl, then stir in the oregano and onion.
  5. Make a well in the center of the mixture.  Pour half of the buttermilk into the well and mix with your hand until the dough starts to come together.
  6. Gradually add more buttermilk until a sticky dough is formed and no flour remains in the bottom of the bowl.  If you have extra buttermilk, save it for another bake.  Don't over mix, as this will build up the gluten structure in the dough and make a tough, doughy loaf.
  7. Working quickly, form the dough into a ball on a lightly floured surface, handling the dough as little as possible.  Pat the top down gently and place on a large baking stone or parchment-lined cookie sheet.
  8. Score the dough in an X shape with a large, sharp knife.  Cut almost all the way through, but make sure to leave the four quarters (called farls) attached.  The scoring allows the heat to penetrate the dough much better.
  9. Immediately bake at 400 F for 45-55 minutes, until the base and top are well browned and the loaf has risen completely.  The loaf's internal temperature should be about 200 F.
  10. Leave to cool completely on a wire rack before serving.  The bread finishes cooking through the middle as it cools.  Serve with butter.


  • Be careful not to overwork the dough, or it will be tough.
  • Bake until it's well browned and has an internal temperature of 200 F.
  • Let it cool completely before serving; otherwise, the bread will be undercooked and doughy.
  • Eat it the same day for the best taste, or freeze in a zip-top bag for up to 1 month.
  • Toast leftovers to enjoy with soup or in a sandwich.
  • Category: Bread
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Irish

Keywords: buttermilk, irish, recipe



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