American Irish Soda Bread

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Yield: 1 loaf

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This sweeter, richer version of Irish soda bread is more in tune with American tastes than the traditional Irish bread, which simply combines flour, baking soda, salt, and buttermilk. Still, it's not as sweet as many American soda breads; chewy and light, most of its sweetness comes from its currants, and a crackly-crunchy sugar crust.

American Irish Soda Bread

star rating (23) rate this recipe »
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: 1 loaf
Published: 03/15/2011



  • 3 cups Perfect Pastry Blend OR King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • heaping 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup currants or raisins
  • 1 tablespoon caraway seeds, optional
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 3/4 cups buttermilk*
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • *No buttermilk in the house? Substitute 1 cup milk + 3/4 cup (one 6-ounce container) plain or vanilla yogurt



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1) Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly grease a 9" x 5" loaf pan.

2) In a large bowl, whisk together the pastry blend or flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar, currants, and caraway seeds.

3) In a separate bowl, or in a measuring cup, whisk together the egg and buttermilk (or milk and yogurt).

4) Quickly and gently stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.

5) Stir in the melted butter.

6) Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Draw your finger around the edge of the pan to create a "moat." Drizzle the bread with the 1 tablespoon of milk; the moat will help prevent the milk from running down the sides of the loaf. Sprinkle with the coarse sugar.

7) Bake the bread for 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean; the interior of the bread will measure 200°F to 210° on an instant-read thermometer.

8) Remove the bread from the oven, loosen its edges, and after 5 minutes turn it out onto a rack to cool. Cool completely before slicing. Wrap airtight and store at room temperature.

Yield: 1 loaf.

This recipe reprinted from The Baker's Catalogue, Spring through Summer 2001.


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  • star rating 03/11/2015
  • from
  • American raisin cake
    You may want to try our Irish Buttermilk Soda Bread recipe if a heavier texture is what you are after! Elisabeth@KAF
  • star rating 03/11/2015
  • from
  • Too cake-like to be called Irish bread
    This is an American version of the real deal. Great for those who do not prefer the heavier texture. We hope you will try our Irish Buttermilk Brown Bread instead! Elisabeth@KAF
  • star rating 03/05/2015
  • rea173 from KAF Community
  • I really like this recipe. The flavor is great. My only complaint is that the bottoms and sides get practically burnt before the inside is cooked. I end up cutting the edges off. I used a Pyrex loaf pan and the "convection bake" setting on my oven (which automatically reduced the temp 25 degrees). Not sure if either of those things are the problem.

    Glass bakeware heats up quickly and transfers that heat efficiently to the food being baked. Please lower the heat by 25 degrees to adjust for the glass, and check the temperature on your convection oven as well. Happy baking! Laurie@KAF

  • star rating 02/23/2015
  • spud14901 from KAF Community
  • I had never made a soda bread before but a friend of mine always told me about the Irish Soda Bread his grandmother made when he was a child. When I saw this recipe with the currants and caraway seeds, I figured I would give it a shot. I had all the ingredients already on hand. The caraway seeds added a great underlying taste. I used 90 grams of Perfect Pastry Blend flour and 271 grams of KA All Purpose flour and the texture was awesome. My friend really enjoyed a taste from his childhood.
  • star rating 02/11/2015
  • Linda from Mt
  • I love soda bread so I was surprised tha this recipe disappointed. It seems very bland although I followed the recipe exactly. It definitely needs more sweetness and something else which escapes me.
  • star rating 01/25/2015
  • linda from Mt.
  • I was surprised when I tried to add yeast to this recipe and found out it is a 'quick' bread since it wasn't described that way. However, this is one fantastic recipe. I love the flavor and the fact that it's not too sweet which is my biggest complaint with many baked goods. I will be making this again many times.
  • star rating 01/24/2015
  • Pat from Illinois
  • This recipe was quick and delicious with afternoon tea. Loved the topping, didn't have the sanding sugar so I used coarse raw sugar, perfect!
  • star rating 11/23/2014
  • swanhill from KAF Community
  • One word...fantastic! I'm not a fan of super sweet breads, and this one is perfect! I used Craisins instead of raisins, which give it a touch of sweetness/touch of tartness, along with a very subtle sweetness. Delicious.
  • star rating 07/10/2014
  • Durg from Hailey, Idaho, currently living in Palmyra New York
  • I used buttermilk & craisins & caraway seeds, ok, but then I used milk, plain yogurt, 1tsp vanilla , & left out the caraway seeds, & liked that much better, this is the easiest bread I've ever made, & it is great!
  • star rating 03/17/2014
  • Jackie A from KAF Community
  • I loved this! I didn't put sugar on top. I substituted Irish-Style Wholemeal Flour for 1/2 of the flour, orange-flavored cranberries for 1/2 of the raisins, and almond milk and 6 ounces of vanilla yogurt for the buttermilk (increasing the almond milk by 4 teaspoons to compensate for the change in flour). Sweet, moist and delicious!
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