This Irish Soda Bread is an easy quick bread recipe — made without yeast — to create a dense, crusty bread, that still has a soft tender inside, with sweet raisins tucked into each slice!
If you like this quick bread recipe, you will also want to try out my recipe for Buttery Beer Bread!
Irish Soda Bread Recipe
This quick and easy Irish Soda Bread is an incredibly popular recipe especially leading up to St. Patrick’s Day. I bet that you already have most of the ingredients on hand. Homemade bread can sound like a daunting task, however since this is a quick bread, you can have this on your table in just over an hour!
Irish Soda Bread was first created in the late 1830’s. Ireland was experiencing financial trouble and a serious lack of ingredients. This made an inexpensive recipe like Irish Soda Bread a necessity. It’s similar to the Great Depression in the United States with the birth of the Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake.
If you have never tried Irish Soda Bread, I guarantee that you will love the delicious crust and soft inside of this bread. It is also packed with flavor and is one of our favorites to go with hearty dinners like soups and stews.
Irish Soda Bread Ingredients
You will love how easy Irish Soda Bread is! It only requires just eight ingredients:
- Baking Soda
You may notice a lack of yeast — that is what makes this Irish Soda Bread recipe a quick bread. Quick breads are made without yeast and with other quick rising ingredients.
In this recipe, the buttermilk and baking soda combine to help the dough rise. It may be easy to make, but I promise it’s no less delicious than a yeast made bread!
How to Make Irish Soda Bread
This is such a quick and easy recipe to make, from beginning to end, this Irish Soda Bread is ready in just over an hour!
- Combine the dry ingredients and toss in the raisins to coat in the flour mixture.
- Cut the cold butter into the dry ingredients. This helps achieve a flaky texture. You can do this using your hands, a fork, a pastry cutter or even a food processor.
- Add the wet ingredients, combine and then transfer to a well-floured surface.
- Knead the dough together until combined – I recommend doing this in two batches to make it easier.
- Form dough into a ball and place in a prepared Dutch Oven. Slice an X in the top of the dough with a serrated knife.
- Bake for 45-60 minutes or until golden brown.
The bread can be stored in an air-tight container for 3-4 days. It can also be frozen for up to 2-3 months!
4 tips to make the best Irish Soda Bread
- Do not over stir or mix the dough. It’s important to mix it until it’s just combined. It will not have a perfectly smooth top or dough. That’s the charm of Irish Soda Bread!
- Score the top of the dough with an X. Use a serrated knife to cut the top of the bread into an x. Cut at least an inch deep. This allows the bread to ensure the center cooks through.
- Use parchment paper and a heavy dutch oven. A heavy dutch oven helps the bread to cook evenly and give that perfect crisp outside you are craving. The parchment paper helps to ensure it doesn’t stick!
- You must use buttermilk! It’s extremely important, do not try to substitute the buttermilk with anything else. I know it’s tempting to use a substitute if you don’t have buttermilk on hand, but the buttermilk is key to an excellent flavored Irish Soda Bread.
Irish Soda Bread can make a great addition to breakfast – enjoy with your favorite jam or just a pat of butter. It is also a great side for soup/stews and can even be used to make sandwiches. It is even better alongside your corned beef and cabbage!
While it is most popular around St. Patrick’s Day, it is a great recipe to have on hand all year long. There isn’t much better than a nice loaf of fresh baked bread.
Please leave a review or comment below letting me know how this recipe turns out for you!
Irish Soda Bread
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- 4 tablespoons 1/2 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 1 ¾ cups cold buttermilk, shaken
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1 cup raisins
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Line dutch oven (or cast iron skillet) with parchment paper. You can also use a baking dish or cookie sheet.
- Combine flour, sugar, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Place 2 tablespoons of flour mixture in a medium sized bowl. Add raisins and toss to coat raisins well in flour mixture (this well keep them from sinking to the bottom of the bread). Set aside the flour coated raisins.
- Using a pastry blender, fork or food processor to cut in the cold butter into remaining flour mixture.
- In a small bowl, beat buttermilk and egg, with a fork or whisk, until well combined. Using a wooden spoon (or rubber sptaula) add buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture and stir until just combined. Fold raisins into mixture.
- On a heavily floured surface, knead dough. I like to work with half of the dough at a time, it's just easier that way. You will want to add enough flour so it's not sticky, but be careful to not add too much flour.
- Form dough into a ball, and place in prepared pan. Using a serrated knife, cut a 1-inch deep X into the top of the bread.
- Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, until perfectly golden brown. Serve warm and store any leftovers in an airtight container for up to a week.
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