This Super Easy Irish Soda Bread recipe is a tasty quick bread that can be baked in any kitchen. It isn’t only for the Irish!
John’s mother is Irish (him half), and he said he doesn’t like soda bread. When I decided to give this bread a try, I thought I was going to have to give the whole loaf to John’s parents. Why would I do something like that?
I was so sure that John wouldn’t eat it so I filled this baby full of raisins. His parents, (and I) love raisins in baking. Again, John doesn’t. Are you feeling sorry for me yet?
Quick bread, means that no yeast is used. Soda Bread relies on chemical reactions between baking soda and the acid in buttermilk (sour milk) to make it rise instead. Also, soda bread wasn’t invented by Irish bakers. In fact, food historians give credit of first using soda to leaven bread to the Native Americans, who used pearl ash to help their bread rise. Regardless, it’s a very popular bread in Ireland today.
There are variations of traditional Irish soda bread. Traditional recipes use all-purpose flour. Irish Brown uses a mix of wheat flour and sometimes wheat germ giving it that brown color. Another type is Sweet Irish that is sweetened with dried fruit and sometimes molasses. So I guess this recipe should be called Irish Sweet Brown Soda Bread? No, I haven’t been drinking any green beer!
I pressed my fingers into the top of the bread leaving shallow “divots” similar to what you do to focaccia bread and scored an “X” across the top of my loaf which is traditional for this bread as well. This can be done with a bread lame (affiliate link) or serrated knife. I hope this doesn’t sound difficult because it isn’t!
Don’t have time to make it now? Pin it for later!
- 2-1/2 cups buttermilk
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 4 cups all-purpose (plain) flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups raisins
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Combine all of the dry ingredients into a medium mixing bowl. Whisk to combine.
Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the buttermilk. Mix with a wooden spoon until flour is incorporated. Knead a few times by hand if necessary.
Add the raisins and knead to combine. Form a ball from the dough.
Turn the dough out onto the baking sheet and form a 2" thick round loaf. Cut a 1-inch cross through the top of the bread with a sharp or serrated knife.
Bake for 30 minutes and then reduce the oven temperature to 400 degrees F for an additional 10 minutes. The bread is done when browned and sounds hollow when tapped.
Allow to cool on a wire rack. Wrap in foil to store.
My oven bakes hot so I baked it at 425°F and then lowered the temperature to 400°F as indicated in the recipe. Recipe adapted from The Poco Loco Olsons
If you think that soda bread is dry and boring, just like what John used to think, this recipe will change your mind. I kept half of the loaf, and even with the raisins, John found himself liking it. It also makes the most amazing toast to go with my morning coffee too.