Irish Soda Bread Recipe

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When looking for hearty bread to pair with a stew or roast, I often turn to this simple but satisfying Irish soda bread. It has the perfect combination of sweet and savory flavors.

Whether it's St. Patrick's Day or any other weekday during the cold weather months, you can often find me making a loaf of Irish soda bread. There is no kneading, no lifting, and you can have fresh, hot bread on your table in no time!

What is Irish soda bread?

Soda bread is a quick bread that always contains four basic ingredients: flour, baking soda, salt and whey. Other ingredients are often added to improve the taste of bread, such as sugar, butter, eggs, raisins, and citrus. The bread is formed into a loaf, then marked with an X pattern and baked until golden.

Why is soda bread popular in Ireland?

Soda bread originally became popular in the days when baking soda was available for use in home kitchens. Baking soda was relatively cheap and had a long shelf life, so many households had it on hand so they could make their own bread. In addition, buttermilk was a very common ingredient at the time, which is why it appears in soda bread recipes today and years ago.

How is Irish soda bread made?

This recipe begins with flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt, which are mixed together. Cold butter cubes are cut into the flour mixture until thick crumbs form. The next step is to add a healthy amount of raisins for a touch of sweetness. Finally, add buttermilk and egg and stir until a stiff dough forms. The dough turns into a round, then it goes into a pan. Mark the top of the bread with a sharp knife, then bake until golden.

Tips for the perfect bread

  • I use a pastry blender to cut the butter into the dough. If you don't have a pastry blender, two forks will do the job.
  • If you don't have buttermilk on hand, you can make your own. Combine 2 cups of milk with 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. Let the milk sit for about 10 minutes or until the mixture looks curdled, then continue with the recipe.
  • You can skip the raisins if you prefer a soda bread that is tasty. You can also add other ingredients like lemon zest, orange zest, or caraway seeds. Another common alteration is to change the raisins for dry currants.
  • The dough will be sticky and smooth. Use flour on your hands and on your work surface as needed to prevent the dough from sticking and forming a loaf pleasantly.

How long will the soda bread stay fresh?

Soda bread is kept fresh for up to 3 days at room temperature in an airtight container. It can also be frozen for up to 2 months. Freeze bread in individual slices or as whole bread. Let the bread thaw at room temperature, then serve. You can also microwave the bread for a few seconds to get that fresh flavor from the oven.

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Whether you're celebrating St. Patrick's Day or just looking for an easy homemade bread recipe, this soda bread is sure to be a hit!

More St. Patrick's Day recipes you'll enjoy

  • Slow Cooked Corned Beef and Cabbage
  • The Shamrock Shake
  • Fried cabbage
  • Irish Nachos
  • Braised Cabbage

Irish Soda Bread Video

Irish soda bread

This Irish soda bread is light and tender bread with lots of raisins and baked to golden brown perfection. A super easy quick bread recipe that pairs well with so many different main dish options!

Preparation time: 15 minutes Cook time: 45 minutes Total time: 1 hour

Servings: 12 Calories: 273kcal


  • 4 cups all-purpose flour and more to sprinkle on work surface
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups raisins
  • 1/4 cup cold butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 3/4 cups buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • Cooking spray


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Coat 9-inch round skillet with cooking spray.
  • Place the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Stir to combine.
  • Add the butter to the bowl and use a pastry blender or two forks to slice the butter into the flour mixture until thick crumbs form.
  • Stir the raisins into the flour mixture.
  • Add the buttermilk and egg to the flour mixture and stir until a stiff dough forms.
  • Place the dough on a flat floured surface. Cover your hands with flour and shape the dough. The dough will be sticky.
  • Transfer the dumpling to the prepared skillet. Use a sharp knife to cut an X on top of the bread.
  • Bake for 45-50 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean.
  • Let cool on wire rack for at least 10 minutes, then cut and serve.


Calories :: 273kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 28mg | Sodium: 366 mg | Potassium: 222mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 196 IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 54mg | Iron: 2mg

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