Irish Soda Bread

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Irish Soda Bread

star rating (22) rate this recipe »
Published prior to 2008

The "real" Irish soda bread consists simply of Irish "wholemeal" flour (equivalent to a coarse grind of our American whole wheat flour), baking soda, salt and buttermilk. At the other end of the spectrum is Americanized Irish soda bread, a white, sweet, cake-like confection filled with raisins or currants and caraway seeds. The version we print here is much closer to traditional Irish bread than to its American cousin.

However, the addition of some bread flour, an egg, butter, a bit of sugar and some currants serve to lighten and tenderize this loaf just enough to make it attractive to most of us on this side of the ocean.

The craggy crust on this hearty, dense bread makes it somewhat tough to cut in thin slices; we suggest using a serrated knife to cut wedge-shaped pieces. A bit of butter or jam is a nice addition.

2 1/2 cups (10 ounces) King Arthur 100% White Whole Wheat Flour or King Arthur Irish-Style Wholemeal Flour (9 3/4 ounces)
1 1/4 cups (5 1/4 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour
3 tablespoons (1 1/4 ounces) sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup (3 ounces) currants or raisins
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick, 2 ounces) cold butter, cut into 8 pieces
1 1/3 cups (10 5/8 ounces) buttermilk
1 large egg

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the flours, sugar, baking soda, salt, and currants or raisins. Using a mixer, a pastry fork or blender, or your fingers, cut in the butter until itŐs evenly distributed and no large chunks remain.

In a separate bowl (or in a measuring cup) whisk together the buttermilk and egg. Pour this mixture into the dry ingredients and mix to combine. The dough will be stiff; if it's too crumbly to squeeze together, add another tablespoon or two of buttermilk.

Knead the dough a couple of times to make sure it's holding together, then shape it into a ball. Flatten the ball slightly, and place the loaf in a lightly greased 8- or 9-inch round cake pan, or in a similar pan; it won't spread much, so the pan doesn't have to be large. Use a sharp knife to cut a 1/2-inch deep cross, extending all the way to the edges, atop the loaf.

Bake the bread in a preheated 400°F oven for 45 to 55 minutes, until it's golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove the bread from the oven, and brush the top with melted butter, if desired. Yield: about 12 servings.

Note: For a more authentic soda bread, use King Arthur’s Irish-Style Wholemeal Flour rather than white wheat flour.


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  • star rating 04/28/2015
  • John from Texas
  • I Like The Texture And Taste of The Soda Bread It Was Best Warm! I Love King Arthur Recipes.
  • star rating 04/28/2015
  • Olivia from Washington
  • Saw This On Youtube Its Great!
  • star rating 04/28/2015
  • Levi from Minnesota
  • 10/10 Would Bake Again, It Has A Great Texture Good Recipe King Arthur 10/10-IGN
  • star rating 04/28/2015
  • Jeff from California
  • Taste Great! Had A Great Outcome
  • star rating 04/28/2015
  • Mike from
  • Bakes well, and creates a great result!
  • star rating 04/27/2015
  • eddie sakrison from vancouver
  • taste good
  • star rating 03/18/2015
  • Linda from Berkeley CA
  • This is the best Irish soda bread recipe I've ever tried. It's delicious and easy to make. I used your Irish-style wholemeal flour, which does have a nice texture to it. I took a loaf to a St. Patrick's Day dinner and everyone raved about it. I won't wait for St. Patrick's Day to bake this bread again. Thanks for all your tasty recipes.
  • star rating 03/15/2015
  • Nancy from Hampton, NH
  • My grandson and I made this one Saturday. I found placing a piece in the microwave for 15 seconds and then buttering made it wonderful. Does anyone know the nutritive value of a piece of this bread? Just curious....Thank you.
  • star rating 10/22/2014
  • Steve from New Hampshire
  • I made this bread today for the first time and it was delicious. I skipped the sugar and currants/raisins, used the other reviewer's suggestion for using a grater to shred the butter, and it was perfect. I used regular KAF organic whole wheat flour (didn't have the wholemeal flour). What I also liked was the "quick bread" nature of it ... no waiting for it to rise. I started putting it together late morning and it was on the table for lunch at noon.
  • star rating 06/09/2014
  • alamirault from KAF Community
  • I've made this several times now. Just like I remember from the best Irish bakers. Used the KAF Irish Flour and the AP. Easy. Delicious.
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