Want a delicious quick bread that requires no kneading, rising, or effort? Then you’ll love this Irish Soda Bread that’s dense, slightly sweet, and rich with great texture. It’s easy to prepare and comes together in about an hour.
There are many versions of Irish Soda Bread and while researching the history of this bread, I found that traditionally it only has 4 ingredients – flour, salt, baking soda, and buttermilk. This recipe is less traditional due to the added ingredients of butter, eggs, and raisins.
If you’ve ever read the About Me section of this blog, you would know I am far from Irish. Being Peruvian and Italian, I get a kick when I read a recipe that is titled as traditional or authentic and know it is not. Really, I let it go as it’s only someone else’s interpretation of what that recipe is for them. An example would be Italian bread where the ingredients are flour, yeast, salt, and water. If you go to your local market and pick up a loaf of Italian bread, you will find 20 other ingredients. Do I get mad? Of course not. I hope the Irish feel the same way about this recipe.
You will need buttermilk to make this bread. Don’t have any onhand? No problem. Click here to find out how to make your own buttermilk. Make 1½ cups for this recipe.
Adding the raisins to the flour mixture after the butter has been cut in coats the raisins which distributes them throughout the dough. Makes sense to just add them to flour mixture instead of adding more flour to raisins then adding, right?
The dough will be sticky, but that’s what you want. Having a wetter dough produces a moist loaf. Use the additional ¼ cup of flour to dust the counter and plop the wet dough on top of it. Use your hands or a scraper to flip the dough to coat the other side. Now it should be coated enough for you to handle and gather it into a round. If you want to knead once or twice then go for it, but it’s not necessary. Transfer the dough onto your parchment lined baking sheet. Use a dough scraper to assist if need be. You may not need all the flour on the counter. Use just what you need and no more. See the picture of the remaining flour? No big deal.
Use a scraper (affiliate link) or a sharp knife to cut an X on top. Be careful not to cut too deep. When it bakes it will separate and pull creating the Irish soda bread signature look.
The first time I tried Irish soda bread was at a wonderful restaurant in New Hampshire. The menu contained house specialties that was pleasing to any palate and the bread basket included a variety of delicious breads. One in particular stood out. I had no idea what it was but it was lightly sweetened by raisins and the texture was soft and dense. I ate several pieces slathered with sweet cream butter and I was hooked. I am a firm believer that if the bread is good at a restaurant, the food will be too. It’s all in the details. I made it my mission to develop a recipe that replicated that slightly sweet Irish soda bread that I enjoyed so much.
Here it is…I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
Be happy, eat well…
Irish Soda BreadPrint Recipe Pin Recipe
- 4 ½ cups flour
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon fine salt recommended: Diamond Crystal
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter cold and cut into small cubes
- 1 ½ cups raisins or currants
- 1 ½ cups buttermilk
- 2 eggs
- ¼ cup flour for dusting
- Preheat oven 400 degrees.
- Whisk together flour, salt, and baking soda.
- Cut in butter using fingers, fork, or pastry cutter until it resembles coarse meal. Add in the currants or raisins and mix to coat and distribute.
- Use a fork to lightly beat the eggs with the buttermilk together in the measuring cup.
- Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and slowly pour in the buttermilk while using a fork or spatula to mix in the flour.
- Sprinkle counter or board with the ¼ cup of dusting flour.
- Transfer dough onto counter or board and gather together to form round loaf. Dough will be sticky but the additional flour should be enough to form dough into a round loaf. You don’t have to knead the dough, rather gather it together to form a round. You may not need all of the flour and that’s okay. Place onto parchment lined baking sheet.
- Cut an X across the top with a sharp knife or your scraper. Be careful not to cut too deep.
- Bake for 35 - 40 minutes. Allow bread to cool before slicing. Serve warm or at room temperature slathered with sweet cream butter. Enjoy.