Irish Soda Bread

Total Time:
1 hr 40 min
20 min
20 min
1 hr

2 loaves

  • 5 cups sifted all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 pound (1 stick) butter
  • 2 1/2 cups mixed light and dark raisins, soaked in water for 15 to 20 minutes and drained
  • 3 tablespoons caraway seeds
  • 2 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 large egg, slightly beaten

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Generously butter 2 (9 by 5-inch) bread pans.

Stir together the sifted flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Cut in the butter and mix very thoroughly with your hands until it gets grainy. Stir in raisins and caraway seeds.

Add the buttermilk and egg to the flour mixture. Stir until well moistened. Shape dough into 2 loaves and place in the pans.

Bake for 1 hour. Test with a toothpick for doneness. Cool in the pans for 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

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    I cut the buttermilk to 1 cup and the raisins to 1 cup. Next time I will reduce the sugar and this will taste like my girlfriend's Irish grandmother's recipe.
    It is St. Patrick's Day and I was craving Irish Soda bread. This was so good. I used 1/2 whole spelt flour and it gave a nutty taste to the bread. I also used olive oil instead of butter. The batter was a little wet, but it didn't make a difference since it was baked in a pan. I love raisins and it was the perfect amount. It also rose beautifully. Will definitely make again!
    This was fantastic. I decided to soak the raisins in orange juice and also added orange zest to the dough. It gave the bread a wonderful hint of orange. I thought there might be too much caraway but it turned out to be the perfect amount.
    My family thought this bread was very good but a little too sweet to be served at dinner. Next time I would reduce the sugar to 1/2 cup as others have suggested. I like to try most recipes as written the first time and then evaluate any possible changes, but that being said, I did leave out the caraway seeds as I do not like the taste. The bread was wonderful toasted for breakfast the next day.
    Having been invited on short notice for a St. Patrick's Day pot luck, I offered to bring Irish Soda Bread. Found this recipe: an amazing hit with everyone who tried it. As far as prep, used what I had on hand, so raisins became a 1 3/4 cup mix of light raisins and dried cherries. Am glad I included caraway seeds as the taste boost was amazing.
     Used the food processor (fp to mix all of the dry ingredients. Cut the butter into small pieces & put it in the freezer for 20 minutes. Using the pastry blade in the fp, began cutting in the butter to get that process started and finished with hand blending.
     The aroma drew hubby right into the kitchen! The toast, on day 2, was very tasty. Oh, yes, butter on warm bread rather than margarine is a must for texture and taste. Will make again, soon. Too good to wait for next March 17th.
    I first made this recipe several years ago. It is easy and wonderful. I omitted the caraway seeds at that time. I think today
     I will add them. Brother Rick Curry also has a great bread cookbook. I bought a copy off Amazon and it is great. I recently moved and gave my book to one of my grandchildren who loves Irish Soda Bread. Now it is time to search out another copy. I have tried a few other recipes but always come back to this one. Make it and enjoy. Can't go wrong.
    I've made this and several other Irish Soda bread recipes from this site and this one is hands down the best. Moist, tender - its become my go to recipe. have substitued dried cherries and cranberries for the raisins. Still a great recipe.
    This recipe was super easy to follow with excellent results. The bread is moist, dense, and chewy. Based on prior reviews I cut back on the raisins by 1/2 cup and rather than soaking in water I used Irish whiskey. I also omitted the caraway seeds because I don't care for the flavor. Next time I make this I will probably increase the sugar by 1/4 cup for a slightly sweeter taste and I may experiment with different dried fruit such as currants or tart cherries. One thing's for sure, I will be making this again!
    I thought this bread had great flavor, but way too many raisins! Yikes when I cut into the bread it was all raisins and little bread, it overwhelmed the great flavor of the bread. I would make this again but with only 1 cup of raisins. I also omitted the caraway seeds.
    Amazing, easy, tasty, tender. Good with caraway or without. Decreased the raisins by about 1/2 cup, but the mix of both yellow and regular raisins definitely adds to the flavor. My Go To recipe!
    Amazing! Best soda bread I've ever had. I used half dried currants and half golden raisins. I also omitted the caraway seeds. I made one in a loaf and one in a round. The round flattened a little more than usual, but still tasted amazing!
    The best I've tasted! Not dry at all. Delicious! I omit the caraway seeds because I don't care for them. Highly recommend trying!
    A moist and delicious bread - so easy!
    I can't say enough nice things about this recipe. Absolutely fabulous!
    Less raisins and less caraway seeds would make the best bread ever.
    I'd lost a 40-year-old recipe and this one was the closest, so I tried it. And loved it! I decreased the raisins and sugar just a bit, but it was more moist than the old recipe. It made a great St Paddy's Day bread, and we can't wait for the toast!
    It was delicious! Fluffy and sliced well.I added dried cranberries too and meant to put in orange zest but forgot.I used food processor to mix dry ingredients and then to cut in the butter. Then I put it all in a bowl and added fruit and wet ingredients and stirred with a big spoon. I just scooped it into the loaf pans and it turned out great. My guests raved and insisted in taking some home for breakfast!This is a keeper!
    Wow! Just an amazing recipe for Irish soda bread - the best I have ever found. It is simple and immensely satisfying to make, smells divine while baking, and provides a beautiful blend of flavors that are authentic to Irish soda bread. The crust is crunchy and the bread itself is a wonderful texture. I have never seen bread disappear so fast in my house. I hope you read these reviews, Brother Rick, because you're #1!
    Absolutely fantastic recipe. I used 1.5 sticks of butter because the measurement wasn't consistent with only 1 stick. I also added two extra tablespoons of buttermilk to ensure it was moist. I used a little less carraway, but had them in there. My family RAVED over this bread and it is just what I was looking for. I love the fact that it is a double recipe. Thank-you.
    This was very good. I cut the recipe in half and it was wonderful. Light and fluffy with a hint of sweetness. I did leave out the caraway as most of my family is opposed to it. Will do this one again.
    I made this last year (2010 for St. Pat's. This is a fantastic recipe, a cross between a cake & a bread, (I believe the addition of the raisins will label this technically in the UK as a "spotted dog" vs a pure Irish soda bread. Fantastic lovely texture, not dry, unbelievable taste, absolutely the best Irish Soda bread I've ever eaten. (I skipped the caraway.
     It makes two hugh loaves, one of which I shared w/neighbors, who devoured it in one sitting. I lost this recipe & have spent 20 min. this AM doing a search to find it again for this year. Yum!!!!
     Wrap extra (if any left!! in plastic wrap,then a zip top bag. Freezes well, wrap in plastic wrap, then plastic bag. Sooo glad I found this recipe again.
    This bread is absolutely heavenly! Extremely moist, not like many dry, crumbly irish soda breads. I followed a few readers' suggestions, and omitted the caraway seeds and added a little more sugar (I like sweet). Just a note for anyone trying for the first time - the recipe calls for shaping the dough. The dough was not firm enough to shape. I resisted the urge to add flour to stiffen the dough, and simply spooned the dough into the pans. They came out perfect!
    Coming from an Irish Catholic family, we always felt that we'd cornered the market on fabulous Irish soda bread, until I found this recipe. It is, by far, the best I have ever tasted. The buttermilk makes the bread super moist and the caraway seeds make all the difference. It brings this recipe to a whole other level in flavor. For the raisins, I typically boil the water first, then soak the raisins. Just make sure to drain them well. This will most definitely be apart of our Christmas dinner to accompany the glazed corned beef. Yum!!!!
    This is the first time I made Irish Soda bread, so I cut the recipe in half in case it didn't turn out like I hoped. Well it was delicious, I didn't have any caraway seeds so I used anise seed instead and it was great, and I also used egg beaters instead of eggs.. I am going to make it again and make the whole recipe to give some to my family.
    My very ScIrish fiance asked me to make soda bread one year when he made his family's corned beef and cabbage recipe for St Pat's. I tried several recipes, and this one has proven to be our favorite. I've been using it now for a couple years, and make it as a gift for friends at the beginning of spring and throughout the year when I want to impress people with something fresh and homemade. It is very easy, and absolutely delicious. The recipe as is works wonderfully for tea time or a sweet bite to finish off dinner. I cut the sugar in half and leave out the raisins and add several handfuls of dill for a savory version.
    I did decrease the sugar to 1/2 cup and used only 1 cup of dark raisins, but it was still gently sweet and very delicious. Several people brought loaves to work for a St. Paddys party & this one was a big hit (even though it wasn't round).
    I have made soda bread for years with an old family recipe, and decided to try a new one this year, and was thrilled with this recipe. It is so easy, and moist. I always use raisins, but have never soaked them first, and what a wonderful way to plump them up. Hubby loved it , and I sure will make this again and again. I also liked baking it in the bread pans instead of putting it on a cookie sheet. Much easier to cut. A real winner for our family.
    Made this tonight. In half to make one loaf I made as directed with raisins. I don't care for raisins so took another reviewers suggestion and added apricots instead and another suggestion added about a teaspoon almond extract. The raisins on the outside of the loaf seem burnt but the cooking time could not have been lessened. I tasted the one loaf and don't like the taste of the caraway seeds with this slightly sweet bread. I love caraway seeds typically so I wanted to try that way first. I think next time I would make a loaf with craisins, dried cherries or blueberries. I think without the caraway seeds this would be a nice lightly sweet bread and would make a good heavy french toast. Overall moist-wrapped tightly in tin foil tonight as others suggested that the taste is better the next day. Will make again just using other variations.
    I never really cared for Irish Soda Bread because it was always dry and rather tasteless. However, I decided to try again. This was the best tasting soda bread I ever had and was moist with buttery flavor. I submitted the breads to our annual soda bread contest at our church's annual St. Patrick's Day dinner on Sunday, and it ranked NUMBER ONE with many great comments about it. I followed this recipe precisely, except that I added orange zest from one orange. That balanced out the flavors. This recipe is a winner.
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    St. Patrick's Day