Irish Soda Bread

Irish Soda Bread© iStockphoto/Thinkstock
St. Patrick’s Day wouldn’t be complete without a loaf of this traditional Irish bread, but don’t wait until it’s offered in the stores. This easy-to-make bread can be topped with a sprinkling of seeds or oatmeal, and is a wonderful accompaniment to stews and hearty soups.


  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 6 tablespoons cold butter or margarine
  • 1 1/2 cups currants or raisins
  • 1 tablespoon caraway seed
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups low-fat buttermilk

    How to make it  

  • 1

    In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Using a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the currants or raisins and caraway seed.

  • 2

    Set aside 1 tablespoon of the beaten egg. In a medium bowl, combine the buttermilk and remaining eggs, and stir until they are well blended. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture. Pour the buttermilk mixture into the well and stir just until the flour is moistened and a sticky dough forms.

  • 3

    Flour a work surface well. Turn out the dough onto the work surface and, using well-floured hands, knead the dough about 10 times. Shape the dough into a round loaf.

  • 4

    Lightly grease a 9-inch round baking pan. Place the loaf in the prepared pan. Using a sharp knife, cut a cross, 1/4-inch deep, in the top center of the loaf. Brush the loaf with the reserved egg.

  • 5

    Bake at 350ºF until a toothpick inserted near the center of the loaf comes out clean, about 1 hour and 20 minutes. If the loaf top browns too quickly, tent loosely with foil for the final 20 minutes of baking time. Remove to a wire rack and cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing the loaf from the pan to the rack to cool completely.

Become more interesting every week!

Get our Read Up newsletter

how we use your e-mail
We will use your email address to send you this newsletter. For more information please read our privacy policy.