Irish Soda Bread

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Irish Soda BreadIrish Soda Bread - Method

Irish Soda Bread

With St. Patrick’s Day still on my mind, I decided to make Irish Soda Bread.  My first encounter with Irish Soda Bread was at an Irish pub in Whistler Village (British Columbia).  I was instantly hooked.

Irish Soda Bread is considered a quick bread because there is no yeast and therefore it doesn’t need time to rise.  Simply mix the ingredients, form the sticky dough into a ball, and bake it in a greased pan.  The result is a large mounded loaf of bread with a golden, crusty exterior and a dense, scone-like interior.  Many recipes call for caraway seeds and raisins but I prefer making it plain.  My family likes to eat the soda bread with non-Irish foods like chili and soups.  And the leftovers make a yummy breakfast when warmed and served with butter and jam.

*I have successfully cut the recipe in half and the result is a delicious, scone-like bread.  Even though the dough was very runny (we basically just spooned it into a mound on the pan because we couldn’t shape it), it baked up nicely and I cooked it for just under 30 minutes so it was still moist inside.

Irish Soda Bread
Recipe type: Bread
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
Irish Soda Bread is considered a quick bread because there is no yeast and therefore it doesn't need time to rise. The result is a large mounded loaf of bread with a golden, crusty exterior and a dense, scone-like interior.
  • 4 cups flour
  • 3 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¾ tsp baking soda
  • 6 Tbsp butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1½ cups buttermilk
  • 1 tsp caraway seeds, optional
  1. Mix together the dry ingredients.
  2. With a pastry blender or a fork, mix in the butter. (I cut the butter into chunks so that it is easier to mix in.) You will have a coarse, crumbly mixture.
  3. Add the caraway seeds if desired.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs.
  5. Remove 1 tsp of egg and reserve it to coat the top of the loaf of bread.
  6. Add the buttermilk to the remaining eggs and stir the mixture into the butter crumble.
  7. The dough will be sticky.
  8. Knead the dough briefly on a well-floured surface to form a ball.
  9. Place the dough ball into a greased 2-quart casserole pan or onto a greased baking sheet. (Be sure to grease the bottom of the pan well so that the loaf doesn't stick to the pan.)
  10. With a knife, make two ¼-inch deep slits to form a cross.
  11. Brush the top of the loaf with 1 tsp egg and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes-one hour, or until done.
  12. The top crust will be golden and the inside will resemble a scone.
  13. If the crust starts to get too dark, cover the bread loosely with a sheet of foil.
  14. Remove the bread from the heat and let it cool for 10 minutes.
  15. Gently run a table knife around the edges and remove the bread from the pan.
  16. It is best when it is served warm.
  17. TIP: I have also made a half batch of this bread and baked it on a greased baking sheet. It spreads out more on the pan but it still has the wonderful scone-like texture.

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