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Irish Soda Bread

in quick and easy whole grain dairy free gluten free overnight guaranteed classic

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Irish Soda Bread Recipe Irish Soda Bread Recipe

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; but 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.

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At a glance

Prep
Bake
Total
Yield
one 9" loaf, 12 servings

Ingredients

Choose your measure:

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

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly grease an 8" or 9" round cake pan.
  2. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the flours, sugar, baking soda, salt, and currants or raisins.
  3. Using a mixer, a pastry fork or blender, or your fingers, work in the butter until it's evenly distributed and no large chunks remain.
  4. 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.
  5. 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 your pan. Use a sharp knife to cut a 1/2"-deep cross in the loaf.
  6. Bake the bread for about 45 to 55 minutes, until it's golden brown and a cake tester or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove the bread from the oven and brush the top with melted butter, if desired.
  7. Store for about 2 days, well wrapped, at room temperature; freeze for longer storage (up to about a month).