Irish Soda Bread

My husband is Irish. He is one of those fair-skinned Irishmen that call his sunburn “an Irish tan.” He comes from a large Catholic family and has multiple siblings and cousins named Mary Katherine and Patrick. And he is known to enjoy a beer or 2. So when March rolls around each year, he would like to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day all month long.

An Irish feast of corned beef and cabbage graces our dinner table at least a couple times during March. My husband would be ecstatic if we had this traditional Irish dinner every night of the week. Slow roasted corned beef with a honey mustard glaze is served with wedges of green cabbage, sweet carrots and creamy red potatoes simmered in sauerkraut. As an accompaniment, I bake a couple loaves of my version of Irish Soda Bread.

irish soda bread article


Irish Soda Bread is an ideal recipe for the novice baker. With only a few ingredients and a quick prep time, the recipe is foolproof. The buttermilk ensures that the bread will be tender. And any extra buttermilk can be used to make salad dressings, smoothies or fluffy pancakes. To insure baking success, cut the traditional cross or “X” in the top of the loaves before baking. This is believed to ward off any evil spirits in the upcoming year. Best served warm straight from the oven and generously slathered with butter, any leftover slices are divine when toasted and served with jam for breakfast the next morning.

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Irish Soda Bread
Recipe type: Baked goods
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2 loaves
  • 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup each raisins and dried cranberries, soaked in hot water for 10 minutes and drained
  • 2 ¼ cups low fat buttermilk
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl combine the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, raisins and cranberries. Add the buttermilk and stir until the flour mixture and buttermilk resemble a coarse crumbly dough. Lightly dust hands with flour and turn dough out on to a work surface. Gently knead until a rough ball forms; about 2 – 3 minutes. Cut the dough in half and form into 2 round loaves. Transfer the loaves to the prepared pan. Cut a cross about ½ inch deep in the top of each loaf.
  3. Bake for 45 – 50 minutes or until the loaves are golden brown. The loaves are done when there is a hollow sound when they are tapped on the bottom and the bread has an internal temperature of 195 degrees.
Recipe by Amy Casey
© amycaseycooks - 2014


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