Irish Soda Bread

4.80 from 5 votes

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Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day 🍀 with this easy 5 ingredient Irish soda bread. It has a fluffy crumb studded with sweet raisins that make this bread feel almost like a giant scone. I also added caraway seeds here for a wonderful nutty flavor with hints of licorice and citrus that I just love.

Why You’ll Love Irish Soda Bread

This bread only takes 10 minutes to whip up and everything comes together in one bowl, no kneading or rising time required! There’s nothing better than a warm loaf 🍞 from the oven, and this one has a golden crust and tender crumb that’s irresistible. Serve it with a traditional Irish Beef Stew, or keep it simple and slice it, toast it and slather it in salted butter. Utter perfection!

How to Prepare Irish Soda Bread

🔥 Preheat oven to 425°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

🥣 Add all ingredients to a bowl and mix together to form a tacky dough ball.

⏲️ Form into a loaf, score it with an “X” and bake.

🍞 Cool slightly before slicing and slathering with butter. Enjoy!

Nonna’s Tip

This is one recipe that you should NOT measure with your heart. Be sure you level out the flour and baking soda with a knife so you don’t add too much. That will help make sure you get the perfect rise, everytime.

Irish Soda Bread

Variations and Substitutions for Irish Soda Bread

I have not tried these substitutions, so you’ll have to experiment and adjust as you go!

  1. Instead of caraway seeds, try anise seeds for a mild licorise flavour.
  2. Experiment using almond flour, gluten-free flour 🌾or whole wheat flour, either on their own or in combination with all-purpose flour.
  3. For a dairy-free buttermilk, gently stir together dairy-free milk 🥛with lemon juice. It won’t thicken up like whole milk does, but the lemon juice will activate the baking soda.

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Common Questions

What If i don’t have buttermilk?

You can make your own buttermilk by gently stirring together 2 cups of whole milk and 4 tablespoons lemon juice. Let it sit and curdle for 5 to 10 minutes. This recipe requires just 1 and 3/4 cups.

Can this recipe be made dairy-free?

I have not tried making Irish Soda Bread with a plant-based milk but let me know if you have. Keep in mind that the reason that this loaf rises without yeast is because of the acid in the buttermilk. So if you use a dairy-free milk, you’ll need to add in an acid, like apple cider vinegar or lemon juice to react with the baking soda.

How can i tell if my baking soda is still good?

Fresh baking soda is essential in this recipe. Check the best before date on the box or test its freshness by sprinkling a tablespoon or so in a bowl with vinegar. If it fizzes, you’re good to go!

Can i add in more baking soda to get a higher rise?

You do not want to add more baking soda to this recipe, you will taste the baking soda if you overdo it.

What can i use instead of raisins?

Dried cranberries would totally work, or try chopped up dried apricots!

can i use whole wheat flour?

This recipe will work with whole-wheat flour but it will be more dense. You can also try to make it using a 50/50 mix of all-purpose and whole-wheat flour.

Can i make this with almond flour?

I have not tried making Irish Soda Bread with almond flour, but let me know if it works!

How can i tell if my loaf is baked?

I like to look for a nice color all around and a crispy crust. You can also pierce the loaf with a skewer and if it’s clean, your loaf is done.

what do i do if the top of the loaf is getting too dark while baking?

Simply place a sheet of aluminum foil over the top of the loaf while it finishes baking.

How should i store this?

Let it cool completely and wrap it up tightly with plastic wrap. You can even slice it and freeze it so you can take a few slices out of the freezer as you need it.

Irish Soda Bread

Irish Soda Bread

This bread only takes 10 minutes to whip up and everything comes together in one bowl. It’s a very quick bread that doesn’t require any kneading. It’s perfect when sliced, toasted, and slathered with butter!
4.80 from 5 votes
Course: Bread
Cuisine: Irish
Servings: 10 slices
Author: The Modern Nonna
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour , (451 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon salt , (7 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda , (5 grams)
  • 1 ¾ cups buttermilk , (416 ml)
  • 1 cup raisins , (120 grams)
  • caraway seeds , (optional)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon water

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 425F.
  • Sift in the flour into a large bowl. Add the salt, baking soda, buttermilk, raisins, and caraway seeds, if using.
  • Stir everything with a spoon or spatula and then switch over to mixing with your hands. The dough does not need to be kneaded, but mix it well until a nice tacky dough ball forms.
  • Place the dough ball on to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and flatten it until it is 1 to 2 inches in thickness. Score the top and optionally you can brush it with some egg wash to help achieve a golden crust.
  • Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 400F and bake for another 25 to 30 minutes. Keep an eye on it as the timing will depend on the oven. Enjoy!

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 257kcal, Carbohydrates: 52g, Protein: 7g, Fat: 2g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Trans Fat: 0.002g, Cholesterol: 21mg, Sodium: 397mg, Potassium: 236mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 94IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 63mg, Iron: 3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Bread
Cuisine: Irish
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Hi! I'm Sneji. Nice to meet you!

I am more commonly known as “The Modern Nonna” on social media where I create easy home cooked meals with a modern twist. I was born and raised in Sofia, Bulgaria and learned how to cook at the best culinary school in the world – my grandma’s kitchen. I lived in Greece on the Island of Crete with my parents for a while and then moved to Toronto, Canada when I was in grade 5. I started to really cook and experiment with food 11 years ago when I was 21 years old. Everything I currently know is a reflection of some part of my life…

Keep up to date with me on social media! Follow @themodernnonna

4.80 from 5 votes (4 ratings without comment)

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6 Comments

  1. Hello! I would love to try this recipe using the caraway seeds. You do not list how much of the caraway seeds to add. If you could let me that would be awesome:)

    1. Hi Stephanie, I would try a heaping tablespoon for modest flavor; add more for a stronger flavor. Please let us know in the comments how it comes out!

  2. 5 stars
    I made this Irish Soda Bread for St. Patrick’s Day and didn’t have buttermilk so I used regular milk with lemon like suggested. It worked like a charm. I didn’t have any raisins either so I used dryed cranberries. So good!

  3. I made the bread using the same measurements except I had to add half a cup of all purpose flour to the almond flour I was using because the dough was a little sticky at the end. I curled almond milk with the recipe instructions and it worked , the milk was bubbly and sour, I also used cranberries instead of raisins because that’s what I had.
    I am not a baker and this recipe was sooooooo easy and very delicious. Thank you @themodernnonna✅

    1. Thank you Love ! Sooo happy Almond Flour + All purpose flour worked together and Im happy the almond milk curdled just like regular milk !! Amazing improvisation ❤️❤️❤️