This Traditional Irish soda bread is light and tender with a dense, yet soft texture and a delicious crusty exterior.
One of my favorite traditions each year is making Irish Soda Bread for St. Patrick's Day. The best kind of Irish soda bread, has a golden brown crust with a soft, yet dense and tight crumb. That is exactly what this recipe yields! Requiring only a few simple pantry ingredients, it comes together quickly and is especially easy to make since yeast is not required.
How do you eat Irish Soda Bread?
The best way to eat it is fresh and warm out of the oven or toasted with some butter.
Ingredients needed to make Irish Soda Bread
One of the reasons soda bread is so easy to make is that most of the ingredients required are standard pantry staples.
- All-purpose flour
- Granulated sugar
- Baking powder
- Baking soda
- Unsalted butter
- 1 egg
- Caraway seeds
How to make Irish Soda Bread
- Preheat oven: Preheat oven to 475°F and line baking sheet with parchment.
- Mix & knead: Mix together dough and knead until soft and smooth. Shape into a ball and place on prepared baking sheet.
- Cut an X: Cut a ¼ inch deep "X" into the top of the dough.
- Egg wash: Brush with egg wash.
- Bake: for 45 minutes - 1 hour or until top is golden brown. The bread is done when you tap on the under side and it sounds hollow.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Can I substitute buttermilk or make my own?
I don't recommend substituting buttermilk for any other ingredient in this recipe or even making your own with milk + lemon juice or vinegar. REAL buttermilk lends the best results.
How long does Irish Soda Bread stay Fresh?
Irish Soda bread will stay fresh for 2-3 days stored in an airtight container at room temperature. Freeze the bread in individual slices or as a whole loaf. Let the bread thaw at room temperature, then serve. You can also microwave your bread for a few seconds to get that fresh from the oven taste.
Can I prepare the dough ahead of time?
This is not recommended because the leavening agents and buttermilk will start reacting right away. It is best mixed and baked right away.
Can I freeze baked Irish Soda Bread?
I recommend freezing for up to 2-3 months wrapped in two layers of plastic wrap and one layer of foil. I would also place it in a large ziplock bag, if possible. Freeze the bread in individual slices or you can freeze the entire loaf. Allow the bread to thaw at room temperature. To reheat, toast individual slices. You can also pop the whole thawed loaf into the oven for 10-15 minutes.
How do you know when Irish Soda Bread is done baking?
The bread is done when the top is nicely golden brown. Also, when you tap underneath the loaf, it should sound hollow.
What else can I add to Soda Bread?
- Other fried fruits such as cranberries, or cherries.
- Coconut Flakes
- Shredded Cheese
Traditional Irish Soda Bread
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ cup unsalted butter cold and cubed
- 1 ⅓ cup buttermilk*
- 1 egg lightly beaten
- 1 cups raisins
- 3 tbs caraway seeds
- Preheat oven to 375°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer using your paddle attachment, stir the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda on low speed for a few seconds to combine. Add in the cold butter cubes and mix on medium speed for 3 minutes until butter is coarse and crumbly. Turn speed to low and add raisins and caraway seeds just for a second to evenly disperse them throughout the flour mixture.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the buttermilk and egg together until fully combined. Switch over to the dough hook and gradually add buttermilk and add to flour mixture on low speed. Knead for 1 minute or until the dough is together. If the dough is still sticky and unworkable, add up to ¼ cup more as needed. Please keep in mind though, that the dough should be slightly sticky, but it shouldn't stick to your hands. After a minute, shape dough into a ball and knead on a lightly floured counter for another minute until you have a soft, smooth dough. Shape the dough into a ball and smooth some flour over the top so it has a very light coating.
- Cut a ¼ inch deep "X" into the top of the dough.
- Bake for 45 minutes - 1 hour or until top is golden brown. The bread is done when you tap on the outside and it sounds hollow. If you are still unsure, stick a skewer or similar object through the side to the middle and make sure it's cooked through.
- Transfer bread to a wire rack to cool a bit then cut and serve. Best served warm with butter.
- Traditional Irish Soda Bread will stay fresh for up to 3 days stored in an airtight container at room temperature.
The provided nutritional information is an estimate per serving. Accuracy is not guaranteed.