Here is a classic, traditional recipe for Irish Soda Bread.
This is the recipe for Irish Soda Bread that I use the most. It’s made with raisins in the photo above, but I actually prefer to make it with tiny dried currants instead. It’s delicious sliced and served with a smear of good butter, and it makes a good accompaniment for soups and stews.
About Soda Bread:
Soda bread is a type of bread made using baking soda as a leavening agent instead of yeast. This recipe uses baking powder too. Four ingredients are always present in traditional Irish soda bread: flour, baking soda, salt and buttermilk. We’ve added in some additional ingredients to create a better tasting bread. This bread doesn’t require any rising time, so it’s a good bread to make rather quickly.
How to make traditional Irish Soda Bread:
In one bowl, you’ll combine the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt). Then you’ll add 4 tablespoons of butter to the dry ingredients. The butter should be cold, not room temperature or soft. A pastry cutter is used to cut the butter in to the dry ingredients until crumbly.
In a separate bowl, you’ll mix the wet ingredients (buttermilk and egg). Then the wet ingredients are stirred into the crumbly mixture along with the currants and caraway seeds.
At this point, you will turn the dough onto a floured cutting board and knead the dough for 2 to 3 minutes (adding a sprinkle of flour as needed if things are sticky) until the dough is smooth. The dough is then split in half and shaped into two rounds- which are then placed into two greased cake pans. You’ll use a sharp knife to cut a cross into the top of each round of dough, and then let them bake for 30 minutes.
Here are a few items you can buy on Amazon to help you make this recipe:
- Cake Pans: if you don’t have round cake pans, it’s good to pick some up. I have 9-inch round pans AND 8-inch round pans, and I use both of them all of the time! You’ll need 8-inch rounds for this recipe. You could use 9-inch pans, but they bread might spread out more than you’ll like.
- Pastry Cutter: This is super helpful for combining the dry ingredients with the butter.
- Currants: Easy to purchase on Amazon, in case your market doesn’t have them. I prefer using currants over raisins.
- Caraway Seeds: Again, easy to pick up on Amazon if you don’t have them at home.
How to make your own buttermilk:
This recipe calls for 1 3/4 cups of buttermilk. If you don’t want to purchase a carton of buttermilk, you can make your own buttermilk using milk and lemon juice. Put regular milk in a bowl or measuring cup. Add two tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice to the milk. Let it sit for 5 minutes, and it should become a little bit curdled looking. At this point, it has turned into buttermilk and is ready to use in your recipe.
Here are a few more recipes for soda bread you might like to try:
- Irish Soda Bread Muffins
- Brown Butter Soda Bread
- Irish Soda Bread with Raisins and Caraway
- Cheddar and Green Onions Soda Bread
- Breakfast Irish Soda Bread with Dried Cherries and Golden Raisins
- Cranberry Orange Irish Soda Bread
Irish Soda Bread
- 4 cups all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup granulated white sugar
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter (be sure to cut the butter into 4 pieces)
- 1¾ cups buttermilk
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 2 cups currants (or seedless raisins)
- 2 tablespoons caraway seeds (optional)
- Place your oven rack in lower part of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Spray two 8-inch round cake pans with nonstick spray.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt). Add the butter and cut the butter into the dry ingredients with a pastry blender until crumbly. Stir in the currants. In a separate bowl, beat the egg and buttermilk (and caraway seeds, if using), and stir into the dry ingredients until blended.
- Turn the dough onto a floured cutting board and knead until smooth (2 to 3 minutes), adding more flour as needed if the dough is too wet to handle. Divide the dough in half and shape into rounds.
- Place the rounds into the prepared pans. Press down slightly and cut crosses on top, 1/2-inch deep.
- Bake 30 to 35 minutes.