Best Irish Soda Bread Recipe
Look no further. The best Irish soda bread recipe is yours for the taking! Make sure to break out the fresh Irish butter!
With only 5 ingredients needed, this Irish soda bread recipe is very easy to make. It turns out extremely moist, subtlly sweet, and tastes amazing fresh out of the oven with a little spread of butter.
Whether you're Irish or not, this recipe may just find its way into your kitchen as a traditional staple. While traditionally, Irish soda bread omits raisins or currants, we made ours with raisins for a little added sweetness. Because of that, this bread is easy to eat as a light snack on the go or even a dessert with a nice cup of coffee or tea.
We recommend serving yours with Irish butter for the full experience, however, jam is also a nice alternative if you'd like to sweeten it up even more. Enjoy this dish anytime of year, especially to mark our favorite Irish holiday - St. Paddy's!
What is Irish soda bread?
You may have heard that Irish soda bread is popular around St. Patrick's Day, but you may not know how it's made or that it has a rich tradition in Ireland. Irish soda bread, as its name suggests, is made using baking soda as leavening instead of yeast. This makes the bread quick to make, and it contributes to its characteristic light-but-dense texture. The other secret ingredient is buttermilk. The baking soda and buttermilk react during baking, creating small bubbles that make the bread rise. Of course, the buttermilk also contributes to the bread's signature flavor.
Irish soda bread recipes are often passed down from generation to generation, and the recipes can be unique to the family! Common add-ins for Irish soda bread are raisins (which we've used here), caraway seeds, and honey. As we mention above, one of the best ways to eat Irish soda bread is to tear off a piece and slather it with butter. But you also won't be disappointed to use a piece of homemade bread to sop up a bowl of Guinness chili or corned beef and cabbage.
Preparation Time15 min
Cooking Time - Text35-45 minutes
- 3 1/2 cups flour
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 1/2 cup buttermilk plus ¼ cup additional if needed
- 1 cup raisins or currants
Find even more Irish-inspired recipes here: 20 St. Paddy's Day Irish Recipes
Heat oven to 450. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large mixing bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and gently pour in the buttermilk. Using a wooden spoon start to mix the ingredients to combine. Using floured hands, gently continue to mix until the dough comes together. Add the additional buttermilk if needed to hold the dough together, the dough should be soft. Mix in the raisins.
Gather the dough onto a floured work surface and gently knead the dough a few times. Shape into a 6 inch ball about 2 inches tall.
Place on the baking sheet. Using a very sharp knife cut an X on the top of the dough ball but not too deep.
Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temp to 400 and continue to bake for another 20-30 minutes or until the crust is golden. The internal temperature should register 180 degrees.
Let the bread cool slightly before cutting. Serve with butter and jam.
Discover how to store your freshly made bread!How to Store Homemade Bread
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Oct 12, 2018
This Irish Soda Bread is very similar to choco chip cookies. It's yummy. I just wish it was chewy.
Jul 21, 2018
After looking at the picture...I was almost positive this recipe was going to be a giant chocolate chip cookie, boy was I wrong. lol, Irish Soda bread is something I've heard about most of my life but never really understood what it was exactly...and for some odd reason, the memory of the soda crackers my grandmother used to eat comes to mind. It looks easy enough to make and I'm assuming the buttermilk is what keeps it moist right?
Jun 15, 2018
I have never heard of Irish soda bread before in my life! I'm really intrigued to try it now. I didn't really realize there were any bread recipes that are this easy.
Jan 10, 2018
This bread was delicious. It actually reminds me of the homemade Amish bread my mom makes, except with a thicker crust to the outside.
Jan 10, 2018
This was actually really good! It wasn't too dense or sweet, nor was it too crumbly or dry. I tried it with some chutney and butter and it was so good!
Jan 10, 2018
The perfect recipe for St. Patrick's Day! This bread was the perfect balance of not-too-dense and not-too-sweet, so it's an ideal base for your favorite spreadable topping.
Jan 10, 2018
This was really yummy! I enjoyed the mild flavor and hearty texture of this bread.
Jan 10, 2018
Mmm, this was so good! I had some with apricot jam and it was so good!
Jan 10, 2018
I loved trying out this dish. It was dense without being too heavy or dry and went great with apricot jam!
Mar 25, 2017
Every attempt at baking bread has always been a big fail for me. None of my attempts have ever produced an edible creation. With only four ingredients, I must give this a whirl. Thank you for the background history information on this recipe. I will let you know how it turned out.
Mar 22, 2017
I agree that this is one of the easiest Irish soda bread recipes I have ever seen! Typically, there are a few more ingredients and the dough is a workout- very tough and sticky to form into a nice shape! This is a great base recipe and then feel free to get creative with the toppings! Since there is no sugar in the recipe, you may want to sweeten the bread a little. Raisins and caraway seeds are pretty classic. Some modern twists include using craisins, soaking the raisins in alcohol before adding them, and adding in chopped nuts.
Mar 17, 2017
I love eating Irish Soda Bread, but I've never tried making it myself. Today would be the perfect day to try it out!!
kmcartoonity 62072 74
Mar 15, 2017
This is a great quick bread to make if you are new to baking, since it is so easy to put together, and it makes awesome toast for with your eggs at breakfast. I can't stress enough how you really need to use fresh baking soda for this one. If you don't bake often, and you've had a box in your pantry for a long time, use it to deodorize your fridge and buy a new box for this. Not only do other smells get into it, but the bread won't rise right if it is old.
Mar 15, 2017
I have made Irish Soda Bread but it has been years and I don't remember it being this easy. Seems that with this combination it is a no fail proposition. Also, love the bit of history presented to make the recipe have even more meaning. Thanks for sharing.
Feb 17, 2017
I'm Irish and I just love soda bread. This recipe looks great. I've seen my mother make soda bread dozens of times and it really does look super easy. I love the little bit of history that you've included. It's always interesting to read about the heritage of our national dishes.
Dec 21, 2016
I always thought Irish soda bread had raisins. That would be why I have never tried it. I don't really like raisins baked in things. This recipe is super simple and I always do have the stuff on hand. I will have to try this soon.
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