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

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

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

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

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.

Step 5: Combine Dry and Wet Ingredients

Slowly add the well-sifted dry ingredients to the well-blended wet ingredients and mix the two together. The dough should stick together and form a large ball. Keep stirring the dough until all the flour is completely mixed in.

**Make sure you only mix the dough together by hand. Do not use an electric mixer because it ruins the consistency of the dough.

Step 6: Add Raisins

Finally, after the dough has formed a ball and feels gooey and gluelike, add 1 cup of golden raisins and mix together well. You could always add more or less raisins depending on whether or not you like them in your bread.

Step 7: Spray Loaf Pan With PAM

Although this is simple, I wanted to include a step making sure the loaf pan gets thoroughly coated with PAM. This bread tends to stick to ungreased pans, and it will be really difficult to remove the bread from the loaf pan if it isn't greased.

Plus, the bread already has a crumbly and dry texture to it, so any pan that isn't sprayed will only make the bread break and crumble more.

Step 8: Put Dough in Pan

Scoop out the dough mixture with your hands and place it in the loaf pan.

Step 9: Melt Remaining Butter in Microwave

Take the extra 2 tbs (1/4 stick) of butter and put it in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave the butter for around 12-15 seconds.

Step 10: Spread Melted Butter

Take the pastry brush and spread the melted butter onto of the dough. Coat the entire surface with butter. Be generous with the butter because it gives the bread a nice crusty and crunchy top.

Step 11: Sprinkle Sugar

After the butter is coated on, take a small bit of sugar and spread it out evenly on top of the dough.

Step 12: Bake Dough

Bake the dough for 50-60 minutes at 350 degrees. Use a fork or a knife to test and make sure the bread is cooked through thoroughly.

Step 13: Let Bread Cool in Pan

Make sure the bread is cooked through and let cool for about 20-25 minutes in the pan. You can use a knife or a spatula to get the bread out of the pan. Don't be alarmed if the bread starts to crumble a little bit because that is normal. The bread is a dry and crumbly type that tends to break easily.

Step 14: Slice and Enjoy

The bread tends to crumble and break a bit as it does in this photo, but that is normal. Personally, I enjoy eating Irish Soda Bread for breakfast with butter and coffee. The bread also tastes really yummy with strawberry or blackberry jam.

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    25 Discussions


    3 years ago

    Very good! Not technically soda bread but quite tasty! I left out the caraway seeds and used 1/2 c golden raisins and 1/2 c currants!


    3 years ago

    We'll try this! If an Irishman/Irishwoman makes it, it's Irish!


    6 years ago on Introduction

    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.

    thom0975Dr Qui

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    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 Quithom0975

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    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.

    OystercatcherDr Qui

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    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.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    I had no idea this was called soda bread... We usually have it around Thanksgiving and Christmas.

    3 replies

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    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.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    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.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    I'm Irish and this is the same recipe (ish I don't use raisins) I use.

    Authenicy verified.

    Is a good recipe.


    2 replies

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    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.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    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.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    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
    1 reply

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    as everybody loved the first one, I just made the v2
    just out of the oven ;-)

    i used white wheat flour this time