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This Traditional Irish Soda Bread Recipe is super simple to make and is perfect for your St. Patrick’s Day feast. Don’t be intimidated by Irish Soda Bread, it is so much easier than making yeast bread.  Your family will be asking for it year after year.

Irish Bread on a wood serving platter sliced
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Trust me when I tell you that if baking bread intimidates you, this easy Irish Soda Bread is the recipe you should start with. There isn’t any yeast, which means that you don’t have to get the water temperature perfect or wait for it to rise.

This truly is a fool proof and easy St Patrick’s Day recipe that you will come back to time and time again.

Is Irish Soda Bread really Irish?

In fact, Irish Soda bread is Irish and is eaten in Ireland on a regular basis. It is so common, that it is sometimes eaten for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Since it doesn’t require yeast or any other specialty ingredients and it only uses basic ingredients that were regularly found in most homes, this quick bread was also very popular among the poor.

While there are a lot of different variations to the traditional Irish soda bread, soda bread all comes back to the same basic ingredients. Since it tends to be pretty basic, additions like caraway seeds and dried fruits are added to enhance the flavor so that it can be enjoyed alone.

Traditional Irish Soda Bread is a dense bread that is filling on its own. It uses baking soda and salt instead of yeast, so it is sometimes referred to as a loaf of unleavened bread.

Irish Bread on a wood serving platter sliced

What Does Soda Bread Taste Like?

As you can see, Irish Soda Bread is very versatile! Go ahead and make it and see for yourself just how easy and flavorful it is!

Soda bread is very similar to a biscuit in flavor. This soda bread recipe is a basic recipe that you can tweak to fit what your family likes. For that reason, it really is the best Irish Soda Bread recipe that I have found!

The raisins and caraway seeds are optional additions that add a little extra flavor, but overall it is a mild quick bread that goes with many different dishes.

Ingredients

Irish Bread ingredients - sugar, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, raisins, caraway seeds, egg, buttermilk, sour cream
  • White Sugar
  • All-Purpose Flour; divided
  • Baking Powder
  • Baking Soda
  • Salt
  • Raisins (optional)
  • Caraway Seeds (optional)
  • Large Egg, lightly beaten
  • Buttermilk
  • Sour Cream

Scroll to the bottom of the post for the full recipe and ingredients in the recipe card.

Variations Ideas

  • Flour – Feel free to half the flour with whole wheat flour for a healthier option.
  • Milk – If you do not have buttermilk, you can substitute it for whole milk.

Step by Step Instructions

  • Step 1 – Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 inch round baking pan or a baking sheet.
Whisk together the dry ingredients

Step 2 – In a mixing bowl, combine flour (reserve 1 tablespoon in your measuring cup), sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. If you’re using raisins and caraway seeds, add them in.

Mix together eggs, buttermilk, sour cream

Step 3 – In a smaller bowl, blend eggs, buttermilk, and sour cream.

Pour the wet ingredients and dry ingredients together

Step 4 – Stir the buttermilk egg mixture into the flour mixture just until the flour is moistened.

Mix the dough together with the seeds

Step 5 – Knead the dough in a large bowl or on a lightly floured surface for about 10 to 12 strokes. The more you knead the bread the denser your bread will come out. Note that the dough will be sticky, that is okay!

Place dough in prepared pan

Step 6 – Place the dough in the prepared pan and pat down. Using a sharp knife, cut a 4 x ¾ inch deep slit in the top of the bread.

Baked bread in a pan

Step 7 – Dust the top of the bread with 1 Tbsp flour. Bake in preheated oven for 65 to 75 minutes. Let cool to room temperature (about 30 minutes)  and turn the bread out onto a wire rack.

Recipe Tips

  • Baking Pan – Make sure to grease the baking completely with cooking spray. Feel free to bake the bread in a cast iron skillet or a Dutch oven. We recommend placing the pan on a sheet pan to prevent any messes. We recommend placing parchment paper in the loaf to easily remove the bread for slicing.
  • Combining Ingredients – Whisk the dry ingredients together then add in the wet ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon.
Irish Bread slice on a wooden platter

What do you eat with Irish soda bread?

In the states, you’ll usually only see Irish soda bread one time a year, in March for St. Patrick’s Day. Irish Soda Bread is mostly served alongside other Irish-inspired foods for a St. Patrick’s Day feast, such as corned beef, cabbage, and boiled potatoes. You can also serve warm with a pat of butter, smeared with honey, lemon curd or orange marmalade.

Since Irish Soda bread is dense, it goes perfectly with stews or roasted meats. Go ahead and soak up all of the delicious juices with your slice of soda bread, no judgment here.

If you’re looking for something different altogether, top a slice of soda bread with bleu cheese. The tangy flavors from the bleu cheese compliment it perfectly. When we have ended up with leftovers, it has also worked great as sandwich bread. It is so good toasted!

In traditional Ireland,  soda bread would have been eaten with cheese for lunch or enjoyed with a glass of tea in the morning as breakfast fare. At dinner time it would have been eaten as a side dish with the main entree, much like how Americans often have a slice of bread with their meal.

Irish Bread in a baking pan

Frequently Asked Questions

How to Store Leftovers

Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Store at room temperature.

Can I Freeze?

Yes, you can freeze in a freezer safe container covered with plastic wrap and aluminum foil. Store for up to 3 months.

More Easy Homemade Bread Recipes

We love hearing from you. If you make this Irish Soda Bread Recipe, please leave us a comment or star review.

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Irish Soda Bread

5 from 9 votes
Next time you are in the mood for Irish Soda bread make sure you try this easy and delicious irish soda bread recipe.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 12
Cuisine American
Course Dessert
Calories 356

Ingredients

  • 1/2 Cup white sugar
  • 4 Cup all-purpose flour (divided)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 Cup raisins
  • 1 Tbsp caraway seeds (optional)
  • 2 eggs (lightly beaten)
  • 1 1/4 Cup buttermilk
  • 1 Cup sour cream

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Grease a 9 inch round baking pan or a baking sheet.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine flour (reserve 1 tablespoon in your measuring cup), sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. If you're using raisins and caraway seeds, add them in. 
  • -In a smaller bowl, blend eggs, buttermilk, and sour cream.
  • Stir the buttermilk egg mixture into the flour mixture just until the flour is moistened.

  • Knead the dough in a large bowl or on a lightly floured surface for about 10 to 12 strokes. The more you knead the bread the denser your bread will come out.
  • Note that the dough will be sticky, that is okay! 
  • -Place the dough in the prepared pan and pat down.
  • Using a sharp knife, cut a 4 x ¾ inch deep slit in the top of the bread.
  • Dust the top of the bread with 1 Tbsp flour.
  • -Bake in preheated oven for 65 to 75 minutes.
  • Let cool to room temperature (about 30 minutes)  and turn the bread out onto a wire rack.

Recipe Notes

Your kids will love to take part in making this recipe!

Nutrition Facts

Calories 356kcal, Carbohydrates 71g, Protein 7g, Fat 5g, Saturated Fat 3g, Cholesterol 39mg, Sodium 314mg, Potassium 506mg, Fiber 3g, Sugar 10g, Vitamin A 200IU, Vitamin C 2.2mg, Calcium 110mg, Iron 3.2mg

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About the Author

Hi, I’m Carrie. Welcome to Eating on a Dime!

I’m on a mission to help you cook delicious meals without busting your budget. Together we are going to cook real food… for real families!

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  1. Do you really mean 3 cups of raisins??? Or, did you mean 1/3 cup raisins?? 3 cups of raisins is the most I’ve ever seen for Irish Soda Bread. Thank you for clarifying.

  2. I just use 1 cup of raisins for this recipe. The 3 was a typo and has been updated in the post. Thank you!