Irish Soda Bread (video)
This bakery-quality Irish soda bread has a soft, moist, and chewy center with a wonderfully crusty exterior. The best part about this no-fuss recipe is that you can have freshly baked bread in under an hour.
What is Irish soda bread?
Irish soda bread is a type of quick bread that is popularly known to have originated in Ireland. It’s typically made with just flour, baking soda, salt, and buttermilk. Traditional Irish soda bread does not include yeast, as the baking soda reacts with the acidic buttermilk to create the necessary rise. Variations include additional ingredients such as butter, eggs, raisins, currants, or caraway seeds.
Why this recipe is so great:
- Incredibly easy to make – This Irish soda bread recipe is all prepared in one bowl. There is no yeast, which means there is no kneading and waiting, then kneading and waiting again. You just mix everything in a bowl, knead once, and bake.
- Delicious – This recipe makes the perfect Irish soda bread, with a crusty exterior and super soft crumb. The tangy flavor and dense texture make it a hearty and satisfying bread that suits any occasion.
- Versatile – This soda bread can be served with a wide range of foods, from savory dishes like stews and soups to sweet toppings like jam and honey.
Ingredients you’ll need:
- all-purpose flour
- baking soda & salt
- butter & egg
- optional: raisins & granulated sugar
How to make Irish soda bread:
(the ingredient amounts are listed in the printable recipe card further below)
- Start by working the butter into the flour mixture with your hands until it resembles coarse meal (images 1&2).
- Then toss in the raisins and sugar if using, add in the buttermilk and egg, and stir until the dough forms (images 3-5).
- Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and knead just a few times to gather the dough into a round circle (images 6&7).
- Transfer the dough to a lightly greased and floured 9″ round baking pan. Score a deep X into the dough with a sharp serrated knife and bake at 425F for about 35 minutes or until golden brown.
How to eat Irish soda bread:
You can eat it plain or with butter or jam, toasted or you can use it as sandwich bread. You can enjoy it like you would any loaf of crusty bread.
How to serve Irish soda bread:
Irish soda bread is best served warm and fresh out of the oven. You can serve it for breakfast, lunch, as a snack, or as a side dish. It’s also great served on a charcuterie board with cured meats and cheese.
What does Irish soda bread taste like?
The taste can be described as mildly sweet, with a slight tanginess from the buttermilk and a hint of saltiness. It’s similar to sourdough bread but more dense.
Why is it called Irish soda bread?
It’s called Irish soda bread because it’s most commonly attributed to Ireland and because of the use of baking soda as the leavening agent instead of yeast.
Fun fact: While soda bread is most famously attributed to Ireland, it was actually first created by Native Americans. They were the first to be documented using pearl ash, a natural form of soda formed from the ashes of wood, to leaven their bread without yeast. However, it wasn’t until this process was later discovered and replicated by the Irish that it earned a reputation worldwide. (source: The Real World)
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Did you make this recipe? Please kindly leave a comment with your star rating below.
Irish Soda Bread
- Total Time: 55 minutes
- Yield: 1 - 9" loaf
This bakery quality Irish soda bread has a soft, moist and chewy center with a wonderfully crusty exterior.
- 4 cups (500g) all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 4 tbsp (57g) butter
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1 3/4 cups (438ml) buttermilk
- 1 cup (160g) raisins
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar
- Preheat oven to 425F. Lightly grease and flour a 9″ round baking pan. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking soda.
- Work the butter into the flour mixture using your fingers until it resembles coarse meal. Toss in the raisins and sugar if using.
- Make a well in the center of the flour mixture. Add beaten egg and buttermilk and mix in with a wooden spoon until dough comes together. Add a little more flour (2-4 tbsp) if the dough seems too wet.
- Turn dough onto a floured surface and gently knead to form into shape of a loaf. Note that the dough will be a little sticky, and quite shaggy. You want to work it just enough so that the flour is just moistened and the dough just barely comes together. Shaggy is good. If you over-knead, the bread will end up tough.
- Transfers the dough onto the prepared baking pan. Using a sharp knife, cut an X along the top of the dough about 1″ deep.
- Bake for 35-45 minutes or until a thin skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Cool in pan for 5-10 minutes, then transfer to cooling rack. Best served warm and just baked.
Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2-3 days.
To freeze – tightly wrap in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, then place it in a freezer-safe container or bag. Label and date the container or bag. When ready to eat, remove it from the freezer and let it thaw at room temperature for a few hours. Slice and toast or warm up the whole loaf in the oven at 350F for 10-15 minutes.
- Prep Time: 15 min
- Cook Time: 40 min
- Category: bread
- Method: bake
- Cuisine: Irish
Keywords: Irish soda bread recipe, easy Irish soda bread, Irish soda bread with raisins
Recipe slightly adapted from Simply Recipes.
27 Comments on “Irish Soda Bread (video)”
Hello, can I use spelt instead of all-purpose flour? I probably have to use more buttermilk?
I’ve never worked with spelt flour before but from what I’ve read you can use it 1:1 and only add more buttermilk if necessary. I hope this helps and let me know if you have any further questions.
I guess the there are almost as many recipes for Soda Bread as there are cooks, but your recipes have always turned out very well for me. No exceptions yet. This one will definitely go into my bread rotation.
I’m so glad to hear and thank you for your kind words!:)
The easiest soda bread and best tasting! It tastes better than the store bought one! The “little sweet baker'” has some of the best recipes and easy! Thank you! Nancy
Hands down one of the best Irish soda breads I’ve made 💚
Oh, you’re welcome, and thank you for your kind words!
I could only find light buttermilk today at the supermarket. Will it be ok to use with this recipe or is the higher fat content important? Thank you for a delicious looking recipe!
Yes, you can use light buttermilk. It will work just fine. Enjoy the bread and happy Saturday!
I made this last night and it turned out delicious. I didn’t have buttermilk, so used milk with vinegar added and let it sit til thickened. I also added caraway seeds. Wonderfully moist and delicious! Thanks.
You’re very welcome, Georgette, and thank you for your kind words!
Where are the caraway seeds. Your recipe sounds great. I’ll be making it now.
There are no caraway seeds in this recipe, but I still hope you enjoy it!
We made this to have with stew on St Patrick’s Day and it was perfect and sky high! I made it again without buttermilk and it was good — but would definitely recommend buttermilk to give it the real wow factor. Thanks, Lily!
Aww, you’re very welcome, Andrea:) Thank you for your kind words and Happy Easter to you and your family!
Love this recipe! I usually make it sweet with 1 TBS of sugar, 1tsp of vanilla, zest of 1 large lemon and 1 cup of white chocolate chips – but I’ve tried a few other variations and they’ve all worked great. So versatile and delicious – thank you!!
You’re very welcome, Zaji! I’m glad you love the recipe and thank you for your lovely review.
Hi I made the soda bread,very easy8 baked it for 45 min.I tested it came out clean. It was brown on top looked delicious.The outside cut was fine but I found the middle was still doughy. Any suggestions as to what I’m doing wrong.Thank you
The only thing I can think of is perhaps your dough was too wet in the middle so the outside was done before the center. Also, cutting a deeper X into the bread might help the bread cook more evenly. I’ve spent the morning researching this and those are my best guesses. Sorry I couldn’t be of more help.
I love how soft and moist the bread is!
I’ve never seen a soda bread recipe with egg in before or raisins, and I’m half Irish. There’s very few bread recipes that use egg here (UK) how does it help?
This is more of an American version of Irish soda bread. The egg adds richness, flavor and helps the bread rise. The raisins are a personal preference. I like it because it adds sweetness and texture to the bread. I hope that answers your question:)
Could this recipe be cut in half? I am thinking the only necessary change would be baking time.
I’ve heard the complaint from people that Irish Soda bread is just like a big scone. And I’m always like, “And so your point is…?” 😉 I guess they weren’t a fan of scones. But I am, and that looks fantastic! I’m also a big fan of Simply Recipes, have always been happy with anything I made from that site. Have a great St. Patrick’s Day, Lily!
She’s awesome! I’ve also had great success with many of her recipes. Happy St. Patty’s Day to you as well and thanks for stopping by:)
Looks delicious! Thank you for sharing over at Fiesta Friday!