Authentic Irish Soda Bread (Directly from Ireland!)

Picture of Authentic Irish Soda Bread (Directly from Ireland!)

My grandmother and I just love making this delicious Irish Soda bread recipe during the fall and winter months. It is a great and fulfilling snack that is quick and easy to make.

Maybe you need a quick and easy recipe for your St. Patrick's Day party? Or do you just love eating this crumbly bread with a cup of strong coffee or English tea?

Here is quick and easy authentic recipe for Irish Soda Bread directly from my grandmother's kitchen in County Mayo, Ireland. After a few taste tests, I tweaked the recipe a little bit to make this the best Irish Soda Bread I've ever tasted. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

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Step 1: Ingredients Needed

Picture of Ingredients Needed

Here is what you need:

3 cups of flour
3/4 cup of sugar (plus a tiny bit extra to sprinkle ontop)
3 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. carraway seed
1 cup raisins
1 large egg
1 1/4 cup buttermilk
6 tbs, butter (3/4 the stick)


Step 2: Cooking Tools Needed

Picture of Cooking Tools Needed

For this recipe you will need:

2 larger mixing bowels
1 microwave safe bowl/container
Loaf pan
Measuring cups and spoons
Wooden spoon
Pastry brush

Step 3: Combine Dry Ingredients

Picture of Combine Dry Ingredients

In one mixing bowl mix dry ingredients:

3 cups of flour
3/4 cup of sugar
3 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. carraway seeds

Sift the dry ingredients together gently with a wooden spoon so they are combined.

Step 4: Combine Wet Ingredients

Picture of Combine Wet Ingredients

In another mixing bowl stir the wet ingredients together really well with a wooden spoon so that the mixture is smooth without any lumps.

1 1/4 cup buttermilk
6 tbs. butter (3/4 the stick)
1 large egg

**Don't add raisins yet! (Raisins are added after the wet and dry ingredients are combined).

***I would take the butter out and give it time to thaw so it is soft easy to mix with the other ingredients. You could also melt the butter for around 10 seconds in the microwave so it is easier to mix in.

where in mayo is your grandmother from ?
rickharris2 years ago
My Wife is Irish - All the Soda bread I have ever seen is Brown,

Does not contain egg or fruit etc. This is essentially a cake.

It was developed in the 1800s because The Irish couldn't get hold of yeast so substituted Baking powder. (why they couldn't get yeast but could get Baking powder I don't know).

Butter milk - what is left after skimming off the cream and making the cheese is slightly acidic which activated the baking powder.

Brown flour, Baking powder, Butter milk. (I put cream of tarter in it to make sure the baking powder is activated.)  That's all.

Don't over work or it will be too dense.
Dr Qui4 years ago
I have to say that this is not an Irish recipe but an American adulteration of soda bread.

Real Irish soda bread does not have eggs, butter, raisins or carraway seeds in.
thom0975 Dr Qui4 years ago
From what I understand- and it's what is written in my mother's own hand, is that the recipe (mine is only slightly different) is considered a Holiday soda bread- rather than an every day version. I have a recipe for the everyday one, and it's described by her Nana (in her own hand) as being a step above hard tack. The holiday recipe allows for a splurge on incredients that would be a luxury. (white flour, eggs, sugar, raisins, caraway.)

There is no definitive REAL soda bread. But calling this an American adulteration is inaccurate at best.

Chef Rory O'Connell backs this up on epicurious, as does food anthropologist Deb Duchon...

For the record, our recipe brushes butter on top (no sugar) and makes a looser dough/batter as we use more buttermilk and less butter. I'll have to try yours.
Dr Qui thom09753 years ago
I'm Irish was born and raised here and WE do not call this soda bread at best we call this kind of sweet bread a bannock.  Soda bread is a plain every day table bread. White soda bread is so plain that it is best served fried as part of the traditional Ulster / Irish fry.

Would you put raisins and eggs in french bread and still call it french bread?  This recipe has adulterated an Irish recipie to a point wher the Irish would not accept it as soda bread.

Rory O'Connell is an arse and will peddle any old crap as Irish to any mug willing to pay him,  he is just one of the many  media whore chefs who clam to have traditional Irish recipes and will happily diddely dee it up for the cameras, yet they all seem to use garlic, chilies, tuna steak and other ever so traditional Irish ingredients.  Traditional Irish cuisine is plain and bland with few herbs or spices, fuel rather than food would be a better description of traditional Irish foods, .

Anthropologist's base their knowledge on what they THINK may be the truth (how old do you think the recipe for soda bread is?)  people who claim their recipie came down through the family from  people fleeing the famine are downright lying as the recipe became a staple food quite a few years after the famine and certainly would not have had the luxury of raisins eggs or sugar.

Come to Ireland and walk into any bakery and ask for soda bread and you will not get this, to get this you would have to ask for a bannock, this kind of makes a point that the recipe is not authentic directly from Ireland.
Dr Qui makes good points, though I confess I wish he'd be a little less aggressive in his assertions. Yet, I can well understand his frustration.

I live in Ireland and have made soda bread twice a week for nearly 20 years now. Most of the Irish soda bread recipes offered on this site resemble true soda bread about as much as I resemble an oyster. No egg, please. It is worth repeating: no egg. And no sugar and no wheat flour either. And definitely not caraway or any of the other nonesense. Don't even suggest these. Doing so merely demonstrates ignorance.

The Irish are a practical people, and this ancient bread most certainly dates from a time in history when resources were scarce and circumstances tough. I think we should look to the spirit of the food in order to understand it. This food is easily made over a fire in a fireplace. Truth, I remember Auntie Maggie doing so. When cookers were introduced (not all that long ago), the skills were transfered to an easier device and the technique changed ever so slightly. However, basically it is the same.

It should be labeled one of Ireland's Rustic breads because that reminds us as we're making it that simpleness and directness is important. I laugh when I see a recipe telling me that it will take an hour. It takes me about five minutes to work the dough and another 10-12 to griddle them.

In the old days, I would lather the finished sliced farl with butter and cover it with a rasher or a fried egg. These days I use a poached egg and no butter, and try to remember the old days as I eat it.

One variation I have made, and this is only me, I have replace the butter with a very light olive oil, grapeseed oil or rapeseed oil. I don't use measurements, so can't tell you how much. Just work it till it speaks to you.

red-king4 years ago
I had no idea this was called soda bread... We usually have it around Thanksgiving and Christmas.
I think you're thinking of panettone.  It's got more eggs and it's kinda like sourdough.
possibly. I'll have to look into what the actual name is.
I've looked it up. it's definitely not panettone. both sides of my family descend from irish people, so it would make sense that it's an irish recipe.
chibawafu4 years ago
I made this for St. Patrick's the other day, it was soooooo good! Give it a try if you like sweeter breads.
I didn't have raisins or currants but I did have 'crasins.' So I substituted dried cranberries and added about 1/4 cup of orange marmalade! It was easy, beautiful and delicious.

I will surely be making this again.
I'm Irish and this is the same recipe (ish I don't use raisins) I use.

Authenicy verified.

Is a good recipe.

I've made soda bread before without raisins too. For this 'ible, does anyone know how to adjust the recipe if you can't include raisins?
Raisins don't effect soda bread recipes a lot. I have not personally attempted this recipe, but in my own baking I don't change anything if I decide not to use raisins. So put simply, if you don't want the raisins just ignore the step where the raisins are mixed in.
sparx4 years ago
No raisens ,no caraway seeds.Your nearly there.Buttermilk and soda and little butter.If you insist on raisens then either put them in with the dry ingredients and toss or tossthem in flour before ading to wet ingredients.Stops them sinking and balling up.Just my tuppence worth from Westmeath Éire.
chouf4 years ago
I made one this week-end!

I only had wholemeal flour so the soda bread was thicker and had much more seeds as my flour was made with 9 cereals. Maybe because of that it was super crumbly, but remained a bit more moist (according to my Irish wife - now specialist in soda bread tasting ;-) )

Nevertheless, I made it yesterday morning and it's nearly already gone ;-)
The carraway seeds really add a nice little taste to it. I wonder if a little bit of cinnamon wouldn't be nice too.

I had a bit too much dough so I made 6 buns with the leftovers.
Also I only put 1/2 cup of sugar iso of 3/4

I might make another one next weekend.

thanks for the recipe, I've printed a copy so i'll always have it handy in the kitchen.

10-10-2010 22-24-32.jpg
chouf chouf4 years ago
as everybody loved the first one, I just made the v2
just out of the oven ;-)

i used white wheat flour this time

chouf4 years ago
forgot to say that I used cooking paper to cook the bread iso coating the pan with fat. this to avoid adding too much fat.

also for those like me working in Clesius ;-) I perfectly cooked the soda bread for 55 min at 180-200°C. The buns were cooked at 180-200°C in 20 minutes
Looks good!
thepelton4 years ago
Sounds delicious. Have to try it.
Mmmm looks delicious
chouf4 years ago
Mmmm looks delicious
I'll cook one for my pregnant wife tonight !!
She's Irish but living in Belgium, I hope this will bring back memories ;-)