Irish Soda Bread [Video]

Catalina Castravet
By Catalina Castravet
Updated:
Published:
5 from 8 reviews

Irish Soda Bread is soft yet dense, with a fantastic crunchy exterior. It’s perfect on its own, toasted with some butter or made more decadent with currants and raisins. Watch friends and family devour slice after slice!

Got a bit more time to spare? With St. Patrick’s Day coming soon you still have time to try your hands at some Irish recipes. We recommend our famous Slow Cooker Corned Beef, Guinness Beef Stew and this Mint Chocolate Chip Cake.

photo of slicing Irish soda bread

Homemade Irish Soda Bread Recipe

Irish Soda Bread is my secret weapon when I have surprise dinner guests, need to feed a crowd, or don’t want to settle for eating store-bought bread with meals.

This recipe comes together so quickly because it doesn’t need yeast. But don’t let its simplicity fool you – it’s so flavorful, crusty, and moist!

Traditional recipes only require four ingredients: flour, baking soda, buttermilk, and salt. However, I put my twist by adding butter, sugar, and raisins to make it even yummier.  It’s a wonderful accompaniment to sweet and salty spreads or savory dishes.

Is Irish Soda Bread really Irish?

Not really. Despite the name, its history is more complicated than that. American Indians were the first to use a natural form of soda, called pearl ash, as a leavening agent.

However, the Irish were the ones to make it famous worldwide when they adopted the recipe, thus giving it its name. In the US, it’s usually sweet and white, made with butter, eggs, and studded with raisins.

No matter its exact origin, one thing’s for sure: you will love this tasty classic from the very first bite!

image of ingredients and steps for Irish soda bread

What is the texture like?

You made the recipe right if your loaf has a tight and dense crumb, with a beautiful golden-brown crust. Despite the density, it shouldn’t be heavy at all. In fact, the insides should be soft and tender.

How do you eat Irish Soda Bread?

You can serve it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, or even eat it as a snack! Spread butter and a fruity jam or honey on it for a simple breakfast. It’s also excellent for soaking up soups and sauces. 

Since the loaf is dense and sturdy, you can also use it for sandwiches. If you have some leftover, toast it and use as croutons for soups and salads. Top it with soft cheese or dip in balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Seriously, this recipe goes so well with everything!

photo of homemade Irish soda bread

How to Make Irish Soda Bread

  • Prepare for baking. Preheat your oven, and ready your preferred baking pan. Measure all the ingredients.
  • Whisk the ingredients. Begin whisking your liquids. Then whisk the rest of the ingredients (except the raisins) in another bowl.
  • Cut in cold butter. Work the butter into the dry ingredients until you end up with rough crumbs. Now mix the raisins in. 
  • Work the dough. Fold everything until stiff. Shape into a round loaf, then knead for a few seconds. Finally, transfer to your baking pan and score an X on top.
  • Bake. Bake for around 45 minutes until it’s golden brown.
  • Cool. Let the loaf cool before transferring to a wire rack.
  • Serve. Slice it as you wish, and serve with whatever you desire.

More Bread Recipes

How to Store:

Prevent it from drying out by storing it in an air-tight container. It can last up to 3-4 days this way, and up to 3 months frozen. To consume, simply thaw and heat up!

photo of sliced Irish soda bread

Recipe Tips:

  • Use fresh baking soda as much as possible.
  • Use cold butter.
  • Don’t use self-rising flour. It already has hard flour, salt, and baking powder, which can affect the ideal texture.
  • If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, use our recipe for homemade buttermilk substitute. 
  • Be gentle with your dough! Don’t knead it too much.
  • Get creative! Popular mix-ins are currants, caraway seeds, toasted coconut, dark chocolate, nuts, cheese, and grated apples.

Save Recipe
5 from 8 reviews

Irish Soda Bread

Author: Catalina Castravet Serves: 14 slices
Prep time: 30 minutes Cook time: 45 minutes Total time: 1 hr 15 mins

Ingredients

Instructions

Nutrition information

Calories: 232 Carbohydrates: 40 Protein: 5 Fat: 7 Saturated Fat: 4 Cholesterol: 26 Sodium: 325 Potassium: 227 Fiber: 3 Sugar: 5 Vitamin A: 273 Vitamin C: 1 Calcium: 92 Iron: 3
Save Recipe
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Comments

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melissa chapman

Who knew it is not really Irish. Still looks like a great bread to make for any meal of the day. I will try this recipe on St. patty's any way.

Reply

Theresa

I love Irish soda bread. I cannot wait for St. Patrick's Day because it will definitely be on our table! Your recipe sounds so much better than the ones that call for caraway seeds (I never put them in mine, even if the recipe calls for it. bleh!)

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[email protected]

The raisins addition look like they go perfectly in this soda bread. I have never made this, but I would love to try it with raisins.

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Sarah Bailey

My parents absolutely love soda bread and used to get up early in the morning to go to a local bakery who made a good one but sadly closed down so I will have to send this over to them and see if they fancy making their own!

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Amber Myers

This looks fabulous! I always love having fresh bread in the house.

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Chef Dennis

This Irish Soda Bread looks really delicious and my wife will totally love to have this. I can't wait to make this at home.

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Beth

I've never tried Irish Soda bread, but when I look at the ingredients it seems like something I will love. I'll have to try it!

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Lynndee

I think I've had this bread before, but I didn't know it's called Irish soda bread. LOL. I'd love to make this because nothing is more satisfying that freshly baked bread.

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Ice Cream n Sticky Fingers

I don't think that I have had soda bread before. It looks super tasty and I love that you can add fruits to it too. Yum! Raisins are one of my favorites but I bet cherry and blueberries would be delicious too.

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Rika

I really love Irish soda bread! I always buy them from the store. I think it's time to make it at home! Yum!

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Ana

I've never tried Irish soda bread before but it looks super yum! Thanks for sharing the recipe with us!

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Nicci

I've seen this recipe before in cookbooks, but never baked it. Thank you for including pictures. I'm a visual kind of baker, so if I can see it, I'm more inclined to bake it. (=

Reply

I am visual too, that why we have photos and step-by-step videos for all the recipe s:)

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Ruth I

I think I'd love this kind of bread. It is so perfect for our breakfast. I can eat it with butter or cheese. Yum!

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Victoria

This bread turned out great. It does seem like the perfect recipe to make for St Patricks Day too.

Reply

I am so happy that you enjoyed it :)

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Mairead

I grew up eating soda bread in Ireland and your soda bread looks delicious. Two thumbs up for a wonderful recipe and great insight into the background and history behind soda bread.

Reply

Thanks Mairead. Glad you liked it! It is one of our favorite bread of all time!))

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