Irish Soda Bread

Irish Soda Bread

A quick bread that takes an hour tops, and is impressively buttery and craggy? I’m in! This Irish soda bread is easy and sweet, with a hint of tang. Eat it with your corned beef and cabbage for St. Patrick’s Day, or slather it with butter for a hearty breakfast any time of year.

What is soda bread? Soda bread is actually named for its rising agent. Instead of using yeast, baking soda is combined with an acid to create the rise the bread needs.

Okay, let’s talk about buttermilk. I don’t know about you, but it’s not a staple for me to keep in the house. But plain whole milk yogurt is a great substitute, as is sour milk. To make sour milk, just combine a cup of milk and a tablespoon of flour, whisk to mix, and let sit for five hours. Good news, you can make a great buttermilk substitute at any time! So you now have no excuse not to try this lovely dense bread.

Finally, I think you should know that this soda bread doubles beautifully. The loaf it makes is a good size for a few bread lovers to share, but any more than four or five people and you’ll want to make two. You can double the recipe just for yourself; I won’t judge. Enjoy!


  • 2 cups flour
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons butter, diced or grated into small pieces
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk (or sour milk or plain yogurt)
  • 1/3 cup raisins


Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Cut in margarine until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. In a small bowl, combine 1 egg, the buttermilk, and the raisins. Combine with the flour mixture until just mixed.

Knead the bread for 2-3 minutes on a floured surface. Place your dough on a greased baking sheet and shape it into a round loaf. Score it with a cross and brush with 1 beaten egg. Bake in a 375 oven for 35-40 minutes until golden. Enjoy with lots of butter!

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