This easy and delicious Irish Soda Bread is soft and tender with a touch of sweetness – definitely a family favorite! Quick and easy to make, this Irish Soda Bread recipe takes under an hour from start to finish and is amazing on it’s own or with a touch of butter.
Irish Soda Bread Recipe
This easy bread recipe is a go-to for my family. It’s simple, quick and tastes amazing. From start to finish, I can have this bread on the table in under and hour and the ingredients are basic pantry staples. The bread is soft with a little bit of sweetness thanks to the raisins and sugar. It’s a great bread to use for French Toast but we most often enjoy it with just some butter or occasionally, a little jam or jelly.
This bread is delicious and can be enjoyed any time of the day, from breakfast all the way to dinner. The raisins can be omitted if you prefer and the bread is hearty enough to make a terrific sandwich. We love the rustic look of this bread, it feels so homey and comforting!
What Is Irish Soda Bread?
Irish Soda Bread, also known as just Soda Bread, gets it’s name from the baking soda that is used as the leavening agent in the recipe. The combination of baking soda and buttermilk (which activates the baking soda) gives this easy bread recipe a lofty rise without the use of yeast.
This simple quick bread is a bit of a misnomer in that the Irish didn’t invent this particularly bread recipe. It was known simply as Soda Bread to the Native American population before the Irish began making it. It became so widely popular among the Irish that the name Irish Soda Bread stuck and it’s what we call it today.
Irish Soda Bread Ingredients
Only a few simple ingredients are required for this easy Irish Soda Bread recipe! As always, you can find the full printable recipe with complete instructions in the recipe card at the end of this post. Let’s take a look at what you’ll need:
- all-purpose flour – provides the structure for this recipe.
- granulated sugar – just a bit to give a hint of sweetness.
- salt – for balance and flavor.
- baking soda and baking powder – these are the leavening agents in this bread. The baking soda interacts with the buttermilk to create a really nice rise in this bread.
- unsalted butter – you’ll want room temperature butter, cut into small cubes.
- raisins or currants – I use raisins although currants are typically found in traditional Irish Soda Bread. Golden raisins can also be used.
- buttermilk – the singular wet ingredient in this recipe and is what activates the baking soda.
How To Make Irish Soda Bread
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Whisk together flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda.
- Work the butter into the dry ingredients until the butter pieces are no larger than pea-sized.
- Stir in the raisins.
- Mix in the buttermilk until the flour mixture is almost incorporated. (The dough will be sticky.)
- Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead the dough 10 or 12 times, forming the dough into a round loaf shape.
- Transfer the loaf to a dutch oven, baking sheet or cast iron skillet.
- Cut an “X” into the top of the loaf about 3/4″ deep.
- Bake for about 50 minutes or until the bread is golden brown on top and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.
- Allow bread to cool and then enjoy!
Brush the top of the dough with buttermilk before baking for a deeper golden color to and a little sheen to the crust.
Room Temperature: Leftover bread should be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
Freezer: To freeze bread, let cool to room temperature and tightly wrap in plastic wrap and foil wrap before placing in a freezer safe, ziploc bag for up to 2 months. Defrost overnight in the fridge and then bring to room temperature before serving. The bread can be reheated in the microwave or toaster oven after defrosting.
How To Enjoy
There is no wrong way to enjoy this easy Irish Soda brad! Not only is it delicious on it’s own, you can really enhance the flavor with a pat of butter. If you want to take it to the next level, try serving with a dollop of jam or jelly or even some honey.
Trish’s Tips and Tricks
- If you love my homemade Cinnamon Bread, consider adding a teaspoon (or more) of ground cinnamon to this recipe to create a lovely, quick, cinnamon raisin Irish Soda Bread.
- This is a great recipe to double or triple and share with friends and family.
- Try baking on a baking sheet (lined with parchment or a silicone baking mat) or a cast iron skillet. The cast iron skillet creates a thicker, crispier crust.
- I use raisins in my recipe for Irish Soda Bread but currants are more traditional so use those if you prefer. I just always have raisins on hand so it makes it easier for me.
- Tradtionally, Irish Soda Bread recipes typically call for currants or raisins but they certainly can be omitted.
- Brush the top of the dough with buttermilk before baking for a deeper golden color and a little sheen to the bread.
- This is a rustic, quick bread. Don’t expect it to be super smooth. The rustic look is part of this bread’s charm.
More Bread Recipes To Enjoy
- Banana Bread
- Homemade Cornbread
- Pumpkin Bread
- Beer Bread
- Carrot Apple Zucchini Bread
- Cinnamon Swirl Apple Bread
- Cinnamon Bread
- Lemon Bread
How To Make Irish Soda Bread
Irish Soda Bread
- 4 cups all-purpose flour spooned and leveled
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 3 tablespoons salted butter room temperature, cut into small cubes
- 1 cup raisins or currants
- 1 ¾ cups buttermilk full fat or low fat, shaken
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a dutch oven with parchment paper or spray with nonstick spray. You can also use a baking sheet or cast iron skillet.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda.4 cups all-purpose flour, 3 tablespoons granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder, ½ teaspoon baking soda
- Use a pastry cutter, two forks or your hands to work the butter into the dry ingredients until the butter pieces are no larger than pea-sized.3 tablespoons salted butter
- Stir in the raisins until evenly incorporated.1 cup raisins
- Add the buttermilk and mix just until the flour mixture is almost incorporated. The dough will be sticky.1 ¾ cups buttermilk
- Generously flour a work surface and turn the dough out onto the surface, sprinkle on a little additional flour and knead the dough 10 or 12 times while forming into a round loaf shape. Do not overwork the dough!
- Transfer the loaf to the prepared dutch oven, baking sheet or cast iron skillet.
- Use a sharp knife to cut an “X” into the top of the loaf about 3/4″ deep. Brush the top of the loaf with more buttermilk if you want.
- Bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until the bread is golden brown on top and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.
- Allow bread to cool to room temperature before slicing. Enjoy plain or with butter, jam or honey.