Irish Soda Bread is a dense, moist, slightly sweet, no yeast homemade bread with raisins throughout and no rising time. Perfect for beginning bakers!
This easy, old fashioned recipe makes an easy snack, Side Dish, or simple Breakfast. The recipe is easy to follow and you get hearty, tasty bread every time. Be sure to try other no yeast quick bread recipes like Banana Nut Bread and Easy Beer Bread.
IRISH SODA BREAD
Unlike traditional yeast bread, you don’t have to worry about letting Soda Bread rise. Just combine the dense dough, then bake the whole loaf on a sheet pan. Instead of using a regular loaf pan, this bread is baked on a sheet to make a beautiful round loaf. You’ll get a super crispy crust with a shaggy, fluffy loaf inside.
There are lots of ways you can serve this easy Soda Bread. Cut it into thick slices and serve it with some melted butter or Homemade Blueberry Jam for a delicious breakfast. If you leave the raisins out of the recipe it could also make delicious sandwich bread.
Or make this the perfect loaf for St. Patrick’s Day. You can slice it up as a side dish to go with other traditional Irish dishes like Corned Beef, or Lamb Stew. It’s a nice sweet addition to your St. Patrick’s Day feast to contrast the savory dishes.
WHY IS IT CALLED SODA BREAD?
The name soda bread comes from the baking soda or bread soda that’s in the recipe. It originates in Ireland and the simple, inexpensive ingredients came about out of necessity. It’s an easy way to make a soft bread using basic ingredients.
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TIPS FOR MAKING EASY SODA BREAD
- Prep: Start by preheating your oven to 375 degrees, then line your baking sheet with parchment paper. You can use a basic cookie sheet, an inch cake pan, or even a cast-iron skillet.
- Dry ingredients: Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl and whisk the flour together. After combining the flour mixture, whisk in the brown sugar. Pour the mixture into your food processor and pulse it with the cold butter until it’s in coarse crumbs. If you don’t have a food processor you can just use a pastry cutter to get the butter mixture ready.
- Wet ingredients: Put the crumbly butter mixture back into the bowl, then add in the eggs, buttermilk, and raisins. Whisk together into a shaggy dough. If you have sticky dough, that seems too wet add a little more flour.
- Dough: Put the dough on a flat floured surface. To make sure the dough doesn’t stick to your hands knead it with floured hands for 30 seconds. Place the dough on the prepared sheet pan and use a bread knife to cut ½ inch deep cross in the top.
- Bake: Cook for 35-40 minutes. Continue the bake time until it has a golden-brown crust. Let it cool on a wire rack before cutting with a serrated knife. The total time for the recipe is just 45-50 minutes.
- Buttermilk: If you want to make homemade buttermilk add 1 tablespoon white vinegar or lemon juice to a cup measurer. Fill the rest of the cup with whole milk. Let it sit for 5 minutes.
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VARIATIONS ON IRISH SODA BREAD
- Mix-ins: For some extra mix-ins along with the raisins try adding caraway seeds, dried currants, dried cranberries, or chopped nuts. For some extra flavorings mix in lemon juice, vanilla extract, or almond extract.
- Flour: You can change up the bread flour in the recipe. Instead of using all-purpose flour try using whole wheat flour, almond flour, or oat flour.
- Sweeteners: Instead of brown sugar you can try using white sugar. Or replace the granulated sugar entirely with honey or maple syrup.
- Biscuits: Instead of making a whole bread loaf you can cut the dough into small circles and bake them on a baking sheet to make old-fashioned biscuits.
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HOW TO STORE IRISH SODA BREAD
- Serve: After baking the Irish Soda Bread, you can keep it at room temperature for 3-4 days. You can wrap it tightly or put it in an airtight container to store it in the pantry.
- Store: Let the bread cool down. You can put cool bread in an airtight container to keep in the fridge for up to a week.
- Freeze: To freeze the bread wrap it up tightly in aluminum foil. It will freeze well for 2-3 months.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar , packed
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter , frozen and cut into cubes
- 1 large eggs
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 1 cup raisins
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Whisk in the brown sugar.
- Add the mixture to a large food processor and pulse with butter until it resembles coarse crumbles.
- Pour mixture back into a large bowl and whisk in the egg and buttermilk and raisins until well combined.
- Add flour to a large flat surface and add the dough onto it, kneading the bread for 30 seconds, gently.
- Place the bread dough onto the baking sheet and cut a cross into the top of the bread, about ½ inch deep.
- Cook for 35-40 minutes before slicing and serving.