Gluten-Free Cheese and Herb Irish Soda Bread features a hint of cheesy flavor with herbs. This quick and easy rustic bread is perfect for any time of year, particularly St. Patrick’s Day! No baking experience is necessary, as this mix and bake recipe is yeast-free and doesn’t require you to wait for the dough to rise.

Loaf of bread on a cutting board with a slice cut out. Ready to eat.

Irish soda bread is my all-time favorite bread to bake because of its simplicity and delicious texture.

Why? I simply find it quicker and easier to bake than a classic yeasted bread, and the end result is so lovely that I just couldn’t have it any other way.

I was first introduced to classic Irish soda bread back in 2010 on St. Patrick’s Day by a friend who loved to cook and bake, and it has been a beautiful relationship ever since. In fact, the first time I baked a loaf of bread, it was Irish soda bread.

The convenience of having a fresh loaf of bread ready in an hour or less is so appealing to me! Plus, I absolutely love the rustic crusty outside and soft inside.

All this can be yours with just two simple words: baking soda.

Over the years, I have baked countless loaves of Irish soda bread and have gotten creative with various flavors, including roasted garlic, caramelized onion, and this cheesy herb approach.

In fact, I bake Irish soda bread no matter the time of year!

If this is your first time baking soda bread, no stress! You are bound to have great success with this easy recipe.

Before I get ahead of myself, let’s go back to the basics.

What is Irish Soda Bread:

Irish soda bread is made with a minimum of three basic ingredients: flour, buttermilk, and baking soda. The baking soda acts as the leavening agent and reacts with the buttermilk to create the perfect chemical reaction to generate fluffy, delicious bread.

The traditional Irish soda bread recipe also includes caraway seeds and raisins, sultans, or dried currants; however, there are plenty of ways one can adapt the base recipe to fit personal tastes.

Take this gluten-free cheese and herb Irish soda bread recipe, for instance. Adding dried herbs and aged cheese brings fun nuance to the loaf. 

Because there is no waiting for yeast to activate or dough to rise (also known as proving), the whole process is very quick and simple.

If you’re looking for a more traditional gluten free Irish soda bread recipe, follow my tutorial on How to Make Irish Soda Bread. It includes the traditional caraway seeds and raisins.

Traditional soda bread happens to take way less time than yeasty bread because you aren’t waiting for the yeast to activate, nor the dough to rise. Plus, it’s free form.

You simply mix all the ingredients up in a mixing bowl, drop the dough on a baking sheet, and bake! Rustic crusty bread at its finest!

No need to allow the dough to rise, no loaf pan, no bread machine.

Full loaf of irish soda bread on a wooden cutting board, ready to serve.

Let’s discuss the simple ingredients for Irish soda bread. You will be able to find them at any grocery store.

Ingredients for Gluten-Free Irish Soda Bread:

Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour: Taking the place of regular all-purpose flour, we need a gluten-free flour blend. 

I use Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour, which is a combination of various gluten-free flours. It primarily includes rice flour, potato starch, tapioca flour, and xanthan gum, and closely mimics the texture of regular all-purpose flour.

Do note that varying brands of gluten-free flour will produce varying results; however, any brand that is known to be a 1:1 replacement for regular all-purpose flour should work.

For the best results, stick with a flour you have used in other gluten-free breads. 

If you don’t follow a gluten-free diet, you can replace the GF flour with equal parts all-purpose (or a combination of all-purpose and whole wheat).

Dried Herbs: I like using a combination of dried sage, thyme, oregano, and black pepper. If you have other dried herbs or seasoning blends you love, feel free to add them in. Italian seasoning and herbs de Provence both work too.

Buttermilk: Used both for leavening and to add moisture to the bread, we need buttermilk! 

Aged Cheese: Pick your favorite aged cheese like gruyere, parmesan cheese, or asiago cheese, and add it in! This simple addition creates beautiful flavor for a unique approach to Irish soda bread.

Recipe Customizations:

  • If you want to experiment with other flavors, you can use sun-dried tomatoes, roasted garlic, olives, or caramelized onions. Do not that the moisture content of the bread will change with anything that is added, so you may need to adjust the amount of flour accordingly. 
  • Add 1 teaspoon of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar to help neutralize the baking soda if you’d like. As long as you’re using buttermilk, you shouldn’t need to make this addition.

Now that we’ve covered the main ingredients, let’s bake a loaf of easy gluten-free bread.

How to Make Gluten-Free Irish Soda Bread:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients (flour, salt, dried herbs, and grated cheese) until well combined.

Form a well in the flour mixture and pour in the buttermilk. Using a wooden spoon or a rubber spatula, stir the buttermilk into the flour, making small circles first then working your way outward to incorporate all the flour.

Form the dough into a ball in your hands and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. The dough will be sticky, but shouldn’t be so sticky that you can’t knead it.

If the dough seems too wet, add a little additional flour until the sticky dough is easier to work with.

Knead the dough a few times then form it into a disc about 2” thick. You can sprinkle some flour on the disc. Place the dough on a lightly oiled baking sheet.

Using a serrated sharp knife, gently cut an X into the top of the dough, about ½” to 1” deep.

Bake the bread for 20 minutes and then lower oven heat to 400 degrees and bake for another 27 to 30 minutes or until the bread is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped.

If you have a meat thermometer, insert it into the thickest part of the bread to check the internal temperature. Bread is fully cooked once it has reached an internal temperature of 200 to 210 degrees Fahrenheit.

Allow the bread to cool to room temperature before slicing and serving.

I enjoy the bread warm or toasted with a pat of butter to spread over it. Due to the Irish theme, I love using Irish butter, but any kind of unsalted butter is amazing too.

Loaf of Irish soda bread on a cutting board

Serve this delicious Cheese & Herb Irish Soda Bread alongside Easy Shepherd’s Pie with Sweet PotatoesKeto Cottage Pie, or Crock Pot Corned Beef and Cabbage for an amazing St. Patrick’s Day celebration.

How to Store Irish Soda Bread:

Wrap the whole loaf tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil and store it at room temperature for up to 3 days. You can store it in the refrigerator for an extra 2 to 3 days. Bread can also be frozen in a zip lock bag for up to 3 months.

And that’s it! The next time you have a hankering for homemade bread, bust out a loaf of this gluten-free soda bread!

Loaf of Irish soda bread on a cutting board

Cheese & Herb Irish Soda Bread

4.43 from 14 votes
Amazingly flavorful herby cheesy Irish Soda Bread is the easiest bread to make!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings: 8 people

Ingredients

  • 4 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour see note*
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon rubbed sage
  • ½ teaspoon thyme
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • Cracked pepper
  • 1 cup grated gruyere cheese or parmesan or asiago
  • 2 1/4 cups buttermilk

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add all ingredients except for the buttermilk and whisk to combine.
  • Form a well in the flour. Pour in the buttermilk. Using a spoon, stir the buttermilk into the flour, making small circles first then working your way outward to incorporate all the flour.
  • If the dough seems too wet, add a little additional flour.
  • Form the dough into a ball in your hands and turn it out onto a floured surface. The dough will be sticky, but shouldn’t be so sticky that you can’t knead it. Knead the dough a few times then form it into a disc about 2” thick. You can sprinkle some flour on the disc. Place the dough on a lightly oiled baking sheet.
  • Using a serrated knife, gently cut an X into the dough, about ½” to 1” deep.
  • Bake the bread 20 minutes and then lower oven heat to 400 degrees and bake 27 to 30 minutes or until the bread is golden-brown and sounds hallow when tapped.
  • If you have a meat thermometer, insert it into the thickest part of the bread to check the internal temperature. Bread is fully cooked once it has reached an internal temperature of 190 degrees Fahrenheit.

Notes

*Bob’s Red Mill's gluten-free 1-to-1 flour works great!  You can also replace the Gluten-free flour with equal parts all-purpose flour or a combination of all-purpose and whole wheat.

Nutrition

Serving: 1of 12 · Calories: 199kcal · Carbohydrates: 44g · Protein: 4g · Fiber: 1g · Sugar: 2g
Author: Julia
Course: Breads
Cuisine: Irish
Keyword: cheese and herb bread, drop bread, gluten free, irish soda bread, no yeast bread
Did You Make This Recipe?I want to see it! Tag @the.roasted.root on social media!

Cheese and herb irish soda bread collage for social media

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Julia Mueller
Meet the Author

Julia Mueller

Julia Mueller is a recipe developer, cookbook author, and founder of The Roasted Root. She has authored three bestselling cookbooks, – Paleo Power Powers, Delicious Probiotic Drinks, and The Quintessential Kale Cookbook. Her recipes have been featured in several national publications such as BuzzFeed, Self, Tasty, Country Living, Brit.co, etc.

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Questions and Reviews

  1. I’ve had Irish soda bread once…in Ireland 🙂 It was pretty darn good, but I figured anything I made wouldn’t be as good. I have to give this a try!

  2. I think I need to be left alone with a whole loaf of this soda bread because, whoa… this looks SO tasty. 🙂 Love the combo of cheese and herbs!

  3. Confession: I only make soda bread. I made homemade yeast burger rolls the other weekend and they turned out just okay. Yeast and I have a strained relationship for sure.

  4. So…I’ve never made soda bread before…GASP! I know, I know. I really need to get with the times. I have definitely bookmarked this post. It’s a new year and I need to get with the bread making program!

  5. I can smell that warm, toasty, savory smell from here!! Or at least I wish I could 🙂 Gorgeous bread! The garlic type sounds amazing too.

  6. there is nothing like fresh bread in the oven making the house smell so good! i have never made soda bread before either, but your pictures are very convincing!

  7. I haven’t made irish soda bread in too long! I need to make a batch and your recipe sounds just delicious! Thank you for sharing with me. This post, along with my cup of hot chocolate, is making for a very lovely Thursday morning. Have a great weekend!

  8. Wowzer, simply beautiful and so delicious. Must. get. ingredients. I am totally making this. For reals. I can’t even form a full sentence!! 🙂

  9. We can’t think of anything (well, besides yogurt) that we love more than a nice loaf of freshly baked bread. Seriously drooling over here!

    Amy
    @Chobani

    1. Thanks Amy! I love your Chobani yogurt! With fruit…granola…I use the plain kind to make all sorts of sauces and to eat with curry. Yogurt definitely comes close to a fresh baked loaf of bread! Thanks for stopping by to say hey!

  10. What a perfect loaf of bread Julia. I adore soda bread, I love the fact it has no yeast in it and can be made in an hour. Fresh out of the vein with butter, then toasted a few days later superb.

  11. I just cut into a fresh loaf of this bread about ten minutes ago. oh.my.word. Delicious! I am making food for a variety of people this week and will be making this again… and again! Thanks for the recipe!

    1. Yaaaaaay, Rachel! I’m so glad to hear you tried the recipe and that you like it! I love baking Irish soda bread and there are endless flavors you can put in it! Thanks for the feedback and let me know if you try any other versions of it! 🙂

  12. I would love to see the recipe for the Roasted Garlic Irish Soda bread. I have been looking for something like that. Also, the gluten free all purpose flour. Can that be substituted with an equal amount of regular all purpose flour?

  13. Hey! I need some professional help; I tried out this recipe and failed miserably. It turned out hard as a rock on the outside, very underdone inside, and weighed about 10 pounds, lol! I am not a terribly experienced baker and am totally new to working with gluten free products, so i’m not sure where I went wrong. Any ideas?? I have to figure it out because I am dying to try again. The over/under cooked piece I ate was still delicious!!

    1. Hi Kathryn,

      What type of gluten-free flour did you use? It could have nothing to do with your baking abilities and everything to do with the flour 😉 I use Bob’s Red Mill’s gluten-free 1-to-1 baking flour and it works great! Let me know what type of flour you use, and we can troubleshoot what happened. xo

  14. Hi! Thanks for the reply; I wish I’d checked back sooner!!

    Ok, I used Walmart’s Great Value Gluten Free All Purpose Flour. On inspecting the package again, it does not have any tips for how to sub it for regular flour. Any thoughts?

  15. I made this recipe today for the first time. It turned out so much better than I imagined!! The texture is fantastic! The only thing I did differently was to add a head of roasted garlic to the recipe. It is a hit with the family, even though I’m the only GF person in the house!! That is always a sure sign of a great recipe! Thank you, I can’t wait for pasta night!!

  16. I’m not a bread baker, and the idea of making bread without yeast is fantastic! What would I do differently to bake this in a loaf pan?

    1. Hi Christine!

      Absolutely! Try replacing the buttermilk with 2 cups full-fat canned coconut milk and 1/4 cup cider vinegar. Let me know how it goes! xo

  17. Delicious! I made this for my family with Dublin Coddle for St Patrick’s Day. The teenagers fought over the last piece ? I used have Parmesan and half sharp cheddar, and since I had no oregano in the cupboard, decided to try rosemary. Very good. Usually I use Bob’s RedMill 1:1 gluten free flour, but found the Namaste all in one GF to work too.

    1. Hi Marin,

      I have never tested the recipe using sour cream, so I can’t be sure whether or not it would turn out. I’m assuming it would work, although you may need to add a small amount of additional liquid to thin out the sour cream so that the dough comes together easily. Let me know how it turns out!

  18. Made this today for a Christmas potluck and shaped/scored it like a candycane. I used bread flour, asiago, fresh basil, and a few dried herbs. Had about 1/3 cup leftover buttermilk, may have been the different type of flour. It baked up beautifully! Thank you for sharing the recipe, this will become a new base for me 🙂

    1. Ooooh, I love the idea of scoring it! Sounds amazing! Thanks so much for the sweet feedback, and I hope you enjoy the holidays! xoxo

  19. Is there another option for buttermilk if you are dairy free as well? Would lemon and dairy free yogurt work or maybe coconut milk?

  20. Are you sure about the amount of buttermilk? I made this recipe as written and I had soup not a sticky dough. Even after adding 2 more cups of flour it was no where near forming a ball. I know I added the right amount of flour. If thinking of making this start with one cup buttermilk and add more as needed. Too bad. I really wanted it to go with my corned beef dinner.

    1. Hi Colleen! What brand of gluten-free flour are you using? There can be variation in the absorbency between different brands although it’s usually very minimal, so I’m not sure what could have happened here. I can re-test the recipe soon, although I know many (including myself) have made it with success multiple times.