Irish Soda Bread

I don’t want to get caught up in the traditional versus not debate for this bread. To be honest, I only ever had it occasionally when my mom would make it for my dad. When he requested it for a dessert this year, I went through her old files to try to find what recipe she had used since that is the one he liked. I think I found the right one. He liked it, and I liked it a bunch, too! Supposedly the newspaper article borrowed the recipe from All Recipes, but since it is from years ago, I could not find the specific link. I will say that I modified it slightly.

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Since I do not know what traditional Irish Soda Bread should be, or how you might like it, I will describe this one and let you decide for yourself. It is a basic one with raisins only, no caraway seeds. My dad doesn’t like the seeds in this kind of bread, and I respected his wishes. The texture of the bread is fluffy on the inside, with a really crunchy crust on the outside. The raisins are plump and juicy, and there are a moderate number (I could have added more even). The flavor is nothing fancy–like a nice white bread, but a subtle flavor from the buttermilk. This bread definitely works for breakfast because it is fairly healthy and not too sweet.

Feel free to freeze half right away like my dad did.

Feel free to freeze half right away like my dad did.

I am tagging this recipe in my quick category because for bread, it comes together very easily and it ready in about an hour.

Directions for Irish Soda Bread

Adapted from All Recipes

  • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1.5 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup (half stick) cold butter cut into tablespoon-sized pieces
  • 1 cup raisins (any variety, and feel free to add more–I added about 1.5 cups)
  • 1.75 cups buttermilk (low-fat is fine)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

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Cut in the butter (I just use my fingers to rub it into the flour). You want to leave just tiny pieces of the butter (as small or a bit smaller than peas) so that the mixture is a little crumbly.

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You will think it is too dry, but don’t worry. Stir in the raisins,

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then stir in the buttermilk until you can get the dough to come together.

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Knead the dough on a floured surface until it forms a nice disk about 7 inches in diameter.

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Place on the baking sheet and score the top with an “X” using a serrated knife.

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Bake for 40 minutes (mine took closer to 55 minutes, but check at 40 anyway) until it is browned all over and a knife inserted comes out clean.

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Cool to room temperature before serving.

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Directions for Irish Soda Bread (without pictures)

Adapted from All Recipes

  • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1.5 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup (half stick) cold butter cut into tablespoon-sized pieces
  • 1 cup raisins (any variety, and feel free to add more–I added about 1.5 cups)
  • 1.75 cups buttermilk (low-fat is fine)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Cut in the butter (I just use my fingers to rub it into the flour). You want to leave just tiny pieces of the butter (as small or a bit smaller than peas) so that the mixture is a little crumbly. You will think it is too dry, but don’t worry. Stir in the raisins, then stir in the buttermilk until you can get the dough to come together.

Knead the dough on a floured surface until it forms a nice disk about 7 inches in diameter. Place on the baking sheet and score the top with an “X” using a serrated knife. Bake for 40 minutes (mine took closer to 55 minutes, but check at 40 minutes anyway) until it is browned all over and a knife inserted comes out clean. Cool to room temperature before serving.

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7 thoughts on “Irish Soda Bread

  1. Wow, this looks pretty easy for bread. When I saw the first picture I thought there’s no way, but I think I could do this one! I bet a smidge of cinnamon would be quite breakfasty too. Ohhh or maybe just topped with some cinnamon butter. Or made into French toast. And now I’m hungry. Dang.

    • Haha. It’s always nice to make you hungry! I’m glad that you agree it’s such an easy bread recipe. It seems even easier than muffins I think. If you do have fun doing spin-offs, like cinnamon or French toast, I’ve love to hear about it!

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