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Easy Irish Soda Bread Recipe

Updated on March 13, 2012

Irish Soda Bread

Soda bread (or wheaten bread) is a famous Irish loaf in which baking soda acts as a raising agent, rather than yeast, which is more commonly used for this purpose. The base ingredients for traditional soda bread are flour, bread soda, buttermilk and salt. Other foods can be added, such as fruit and nuts.

A number of types of soda bread are eaten throughout Ireland, which are made using either white or wholemeal flour. In the province of Ulster, loaves made with wholemeal flour are referred to as wheaten bread (and is sweetened more often than not), and those made with white flour are called soda bread. The wholemeal variety is known as brown soda in some of the more southern areas of Ireland.

Loaves of Irish Soda Bread
Loaves of Irish Soda Bread | Source

Recipe for Irish Soda Bread

A deliciously fruity Irish bread, perfect for St. Patrick's Day celebrations. Great as an accompaniment with Irish stew, or toasted for breakfast.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 25 minutes

Makes: 8 servings


4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup white sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon caraway seeds

3 cups raisins

1 1/4 cups buttermilk

1 cup sourcream

2 eggs (lightly beaten)

Freshly Baked Soda Bread
Freshly Baked Soda Bread | Source
This Soda Bread Contains Brazil Nuts & Hazelnuts
This Soda Bread Contains Brazil Nuts & Hazelnuts | Source


1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C), grease a 9 inch round cake pan with butter or margarine, and set aside 1 tablespoon of flour.

2. Combine the remaining flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, caraway seeds and raisins in a large mixing bowl, then blend the buttermilk, sourcream and eggs in a separate dish.

3. Stir the wet blend into the dry blend just until the flour has become moist and knead the dough in the bowl for about 10 to 12 strokes.

4. Place the dough in the pan you prepared earlier and pat it down, then cut a 4x3/4 slit into the top of the dough and dust the bread with the reserved tablespoon of flour.

5. Bake the bread in the preheated oven for a period of 65 to 75 minutes, then let it cool down and turn it out onto a wire rack.

Notes & Tips

-Store the bread at room temperature wrapped in tinfoil or saran wrap.

-In step 3, don't worry if the dough is sticky - this is normal.

-If you are cooking for only a few people (3 or less) try making 2 small loaves instead of 1 large one. You can freeze one loaf until you are ready to eat it.

-Use natural yoghurt instead of sourcream if you wish. The same amount is necessary.

-Use other fruits such as dates, cranberries and apricots to add some variety to your soda bread.

-Caraway seeds are not for everybody. Replace them with other ingredients such as walnuts if you wish.

-This soda bread makes an excellent breakfast treat, too. Simply toast it lightly, butter and enjoy.


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    • VendettaVixen profile image

      VendettaVixen 6 years ago from Ireland

      You're very welcome, Journey. I'm sorry I couldn't provide any of my own photos - I can't manage it. Next time my mum's baking some soda bread, I'll try to get her to take some.

      If you decide to try out this or any other recipe, best of luck, and I hope you enjoy baking it. It goes great with stew, shepherd's pie, and other dishes of the sort.

    • Journey * profile image

      Nyesha Pagnou MPH 6 years ago from USA

      Thank you for this recipe. The photos of the soda bread look enticing. I would like to try the recipe sometime soon.


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