Irish Soda Bread

by Thekissingcrust
1 Loaf
1 hr 15 min

Irish Soda Bread is a type of quick bread that doesn't use any yeast - instead, all of its leavening comes from baking soda and buttermilk. Specifically, the acid in the buttermilk reacts with the base of the baking soda to provide the bread's leavening. This Irish Soda bread was passed down to me from one of my great-aunt's, and my family has enjoyed it for years.

This bread is a delightful mix of being soft, dense, yummy sweet pops of raisins, and has a wonderful crusty outside. Slather on some delicious Irish butter for a great afternoon snack, hearty side dish or even breakfast!

My family prefers Irish Soda Bread without caraway seeds, but feel free to add 1 teaspoon if you wish! Also, some people prefer the bread without raisins, so feel free to leave those out as well.

The beautiful, craggy loaf!

The dough easily comes together in a ball.

A deep cross cut is traditional.

Such yumminess to dive into!

Recipe details
  • 1  Loaf
  • Prep time: 15 Minutes Cook time: 1 Hours Total time: 1 hr 15 min
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  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour⁣
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • ⁣1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • ⁣1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder⁣
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ⁣3 tablespoons butter, cold⁣
  • 1 cups raisins (If I have time I like to simmer them in some water for a bit to make them nice and moist)⁣
  • 1 egg
  • ⁣1 cup buttermilk or (or you could make your own sour milk)
  • ⁣1 tablespoon (ish) heavy cream or milk
  • Turbinado sugar for sprinkling, if desired

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, salt, baking powder, soda, and sugar. Add butter and cut in until crumbly. Stir in the raisins. Make a well in your dry ingredients. Combine egg and buttermilk and add to dry ingredients. Stir until just blended.
Turn the dough out onto a wooden board sprinkled with flour. Knead the dough gently for just a few seconds or so. If the dough is a little sticky, dust with some extra flour. Take care not to overwork the dough!
You can either form the dough into a round free standing loaf, or bake it in a bread loaf pan (I like making free standing loaves myself). Cut a deep cross in dough, then brush with heavy cream or milk and sprinkle sugar on the top.
Bake 40 or 45 minutes until golden. Remove from oven and pan and cool on a wire rack. Serve with Irish butter for a real treat! 
  • Ernest Ernest on Dec 30, 2022

    My Irish mum made this for our family. Great tasting bread. The cross you cut into the top according to legend it let's the devil out. They called it fadge. You can also make a wheaten loaf too.