You’ll love this Irish Soda Bread that’s easy to prepare and comes together in about an hour. It's dense, slightly sweet and rich with great texture. It's baked in a Dutch oven which produces an incredibly delicious loaf.
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’s not. 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. This recipe uses 1½ cups.
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 the flour mixture instead of adding more flour to raisins, 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 a piece of parchment paper. 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 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.
One day I gave this a try…
Irish Soda Bread Baked In A Dutch Oven:
Yes! If you have a Dutch oven then you need to bake this in it. It’s super easy to do. Follow the recipe then lift the parchment paper with the bread and place into a Dutch oven pot. The pot doesn’t need to be preheated. Bake covered for 20 minutes then uncover and bake for another 20 - 25 minutes. You’ll get a beautiful loaf. It’s the only way I’ll bake it now.
No worries if you don’t have a Dutch oven pot. Just transfer the parchment and bread onto a baking sheet and bake for 40 minutes until the bread is golden brown. It will still be delicious.
Here it is…I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
Life is too short for mediocre food.
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- 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 large eggs
- ¼ cup flour for dusting
- Preheat oven 450°F if using Dutch oven or 400°F if using a baking sheet.
- In a bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda and salt.
- 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.
- Cut an X across the top with a sharp knife or your scraper. Be careful not to cut too deep.
- Place onto a piece of parchment and transfer into a 4.5 quart Dutch oven and cover. You could also use a 5.5 quart Dutch oven if that's what you have and just check after 40 minutes. If using a baking sheet, just transfer onto baking sheet.
IF USING A DUTCH OVEN:
- Make sure your oven is preheated to 450°F. Bake covered for 20 minutes then remove cover and bake for another 20 - 25 minutes until the loaf is golden brown.
IF USING BAKING SHEET:
- Make sure your oven is preheated to 400°F. Bake for 35 - 40 minutes. Allow bread to cool before slicing. Serve warm or at room temperature slathered with sweet cream butter. Enjoy.
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Could you add chopped walnuts to this loaf?
I've never added walnuts but I'm sure it would come out great! I wouldn't add more than a 1/2 cup.
I've never made Irish Soda Bread but I've baked scones and this recipe looks similar to scones, although you couldn't slice them like bread as I see in your photo. Can you tell me how this is different from a scone?
Actually Irish soda bread is similar to some scones because of the crusty outer texture and dense interior. They are both best on the day they are made as they tend to dry up quicker than other breads. I love both of them and find toasting this bread and slathering it with butter is awesome. This also freezes well.