Irish Soda Bread

Irish Soda Bread

5 from 3 reviews

This fun and easy yeast-free bread is prepped in under ten minutes.  It has a crispy crust with a soft sweet cake-like center.  If you don’t like raisins be sure to read my flavor variation suggestions for both savory and sweet loaf recipes.


Soda Bread

  • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup very cold unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup raisins

Top Glaze

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons buttermilk
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Cover large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In large bowl whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Shred chilled butter into the flour mixture and stir to coat.
  • Whisk together buttermilk and egg.  Stir buttermilk mixture and raisins into flour mixture.  Turn mixture on to lightly floured surface and knead for about 30 seconds.  Place on prepared cookie sheet. Use a sharp serrated knife to score an “X” on the top of the loaf.
  • Melt 2 tablespoons butter.  Combine with 2 tablespoons buttermilk.  Brush over loaf and sprinkle lightly with sugar.
  • Bake for about 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Start checking the loaf after 30 minutes to check for doneness and to see if it is browning too fast.  When browned to your liking cover with a loose piece of aluminum foil.  Move to a wire rack to cool slightly. This bread is best served warm with soft butter.


  • Put the butter in the freezer about 30 minutes prior to shredding it as it makes it so much easier to shred
  • For optimal taste do not overwork the dough. Simply mix the dough until it is too stiff to stir then turn it onto a lightly floured surface and knead it until all the flour is moistened.
  • Always preheat your oven and load on the middle rack in the center of the oven. If the loaf is browning too much to your liking simply place a loose piece of aluminum foil over the loaf while it finishes baking.
  • If you don’t like raisins, omit them. The bread will still be delicious.  Be sure to read my suggestions for flavor variations.
  • Use a sharp serrated knife to score an “X” on the top of the loaf before baking as this helps assure it will cook all the way through.
  • This Irish soda bread is best enjoyed right out of the oven with softened creamy butter however you can reheat the loaf on a cookie sheet at 325 for about 10 minutes.
  • Individual slices can be reheated in the microwave for about 10 seconds or in the toaster until lightly browned.

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