Irish Soda Bread

Total Time:
1 hr 40 min
Prep:
20 min
Inactive:
20 min
Cook:
1 hr

Yield:
2 loaves
Level:
Intermediate

Ingredients
  • 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
Directions

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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4.8 69
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. item not reviewed by moderator and published
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! item not reviewed by moderator and published
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. item not reviewed by moderator and published
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. item not reviewed by moderator and published
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. item not reviewed by moderator and published
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. item not reviewed by moderator and published
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. item not reviewed by moderator and published
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! item not reviewed by moderator and published
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. item not reviewed by moderator and published
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! item not reviewed by moderator and published
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! item not reviewed by moderator and published
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! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Deeeeeeeeeeeeelicious!!!!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
A moist and delicious bread - so easy! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I can't say enough nice things about this recipe. Absolutely fabulous! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Less raisins and less caraway seeds would make the best bread ever. item not reviewed by moderator and published
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! item not reviewed by moderator and published
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! item not reviewed by moderator and published
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! item not reviewed by moderator and published
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. item not reviewed by moderator and published
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. item not reviewed by moderator and published
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. item not reviewed by moderator and published
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! item not reviewed by moderator and published
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!!!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
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. item not reviewed by moderator and published
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. item not reviewed by moderator and published
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). item not reviewed by moderator and published
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. item not reviewed by moderator and published
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. item not reviewed by moderator and published
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. item not reviewed by moderator and published
While I usually use our family's recipe for soda bread, I like to try other recipes at this time of year, and this one is a winner. Excellent. We had this with our family Irish dinner last night, and everyone loved it--reviews were all positive. To Sandra--wish my grandmother were still around so I could say, "Stop! Don't add that dessertspoonful of sugar to the bread--it's not authentic" even though she made that bread recipe all her life here and in Ireland before. When she made tea (tay) cake, it had more sugar, more raisins and was baked in a loaf pan. No seeds in either. Also, I learned a technique from her: when she made the bread just for my father, she often used half flour and half whole wheat flour, the way he liked it. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Who doesn't love a good Irish soda bread around St. Pattys Day? Well, most of the time, any recipe I've ever come across is DRY and falls apart. Not so with this winning recipe. Moist, dense, buttery, and oh so delicious. The house smells delightful when this bread is baking and you cannot wait for it to cool before schmearing it with butter and taking that scrumptious first bite. A winner, a keeper and friends and family will rave! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I am planning in making again this year, as a new "family tradition", however, we are not big fans of raisins. I made this last year with dried apricots which I soked in the same manner as the raisins, chopped into quarters, and this bread was addicting! Had a wonderfully moist texture which highlighted the fruit, but not too sweet. Absolutely delicious. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I chose to make this recipe based on the reviews and I was not disappointed. I don't know that it has a very traditional taste, but I am no expert. This bread is fairly sweet and makes a great breakfast bread. My husband and I love it and he requests it often. I made some the other night to have for breakfast, but we couldn't wait until morning. We each had two pieces before bed. This recipe is super easy and delicious. Plus it makes two loaves. It is baked in loaf pans unlike most Irish Soda breads, but I have baked it in a round on a sheet pan. It is really a little too wet for this yet turned out well. I generally stick with the loaf pans for consistency of size. Please try this recipe. You won't be disappointed. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made this for St. Patrick's Day, and it was very tasty while being easy to make. I made mine with the caraway seeds and all golden raisins and highly recommend it that way. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I didn't even like Irish Soda Bread until I tried this recipe. It is absolutely delicious. So good. I make it every year and it gets eaten in a day. My family loves it and my boyfriend who grew up eating it says it's the best he's ever had. Great recipe thanks for making it!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made this recipe last night for my family, but I brought one loaf into work. I cannot believe all the raves for this simple recipe. I make Irish Soda Bread every year & its always been tasty and dry as all other soda breads I have had. This one is so unique! It has the flavor of traditional bread, but is so moist. The 2 kinds of raisins make it absolutely delicious, and the caraway was perfect. I'm making a couple more loaves tonight for my neighbors (at the request of my husband. I don't think I'll wait until next St. Pat's day to make a couple loaves again. You gotta love the monks. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Great recipe! Not sure why the skill rating is intermediate, I found this recipe very simple. I made two loaves a few weeks ago for a st. patty's day party with rave reviews. I am currently baking two loaves to bring into work for st patty's day tomorrow. I know some people said it was too sweet or not sweet enough...this is traditional irish soda bread...meant for breakfast with some butter or later in the day with tea. Its not meant to be a dessert and not meant to be a hearty bread with dinner (leave that to the italians!). item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is a great recipe. I didn't even use raisins or carraway! Added a cup of sugar instead of 3/4. (snuck a lil almond extract) I'm sure I turned this recipe un-irish as a result. Highly recomend either way. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made this yesterday and not only was is easy to make, but it was just delicious. Everyone at my dinner raved and raved about it that it was just the best they every ate. It was wonderful. I sprinkled a bit of vanilla sugar on the top of one before baking and that was wonderful and then made a simple glaze to put over the other and it was equally superb. I have never made Irish soda bread before, but I will always make it now. We are not caraway fans, so I left that out. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I thought it was more like cake than bread. For my taste, it was too sweet to eat as a bread with the corned beef and cabbage ... and wasn't sweet enough to be a dessert cake. The family did enjoy it and I agree that it will make excellent toast. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This was simple and delicious. Excellent recipe. Everyone enjoyed it tremendously. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I got incredible results, and I was especially impressed due to the simplicity of the recipe. I didn't have any raisins or caraway seeds so I left both out (I will definitely try the recipe with both add-ins once I do some grocery shopping), but the bread was still delicious. I baked two loaves yesterday and this morning ate two toasted slices...HEAVEN. The texture is almost spongy, but very tender and it cuts beatifully. I didn't have any problems with the bread falling apart like I do with most quick-bread recipes I make. When ready to take out of the oven, the crust is golden brown all-over which may lead some to take the bread out early. DON"T DO IT. I belive the added sugar helps to make the crust that carmelized gold color. This is certainly not your typical irish soda bread, and I would even go so far as to exclude it from the i.s.b. catagory. Scrumptious with strawberry jam or lemon curd. I will keep this recipe. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I've tried good soda bread and suffered through some of the worst ... this recipe puts a completely new and different spin on this classic. Say "Irish Soda Bread" to any number of people and they'll usually sigh and reach for a bottle of water. Leave it to the Jesuits to come up with the finest recipe for Irish Soda Bread ever. In anticipation of a St Patrick's Day party coming up this weekend, I tried the recipe today. Made the 2 loaves. Kept one, gave the other one to a friend as a gift. Everything about this recipe is superb. It is moist, full of buttery flavor, slices beautifully, and crusts nicely. You'll be proud to serve this at any St Patrick's Day celebration. Bravo! Erin go Braugh! item not reviewed by moderator and published
While this recipe is good - This is not Irish Bread - it is Irish Cake - normally served after a meal or mid day with jam and tea. If you are looking for authentic Irish Bread to serve with a meal for St. Pats, then find a recipe that has no sugar, raisins or seeds ! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made this bread for a school function & it was unbelievable...moist, with a great taste. Up until then, I thought Irish Soda bread was supposed to be dry. I did not use the caraway seeds though, but it was still delicious. Highly Recommend this recipe item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made this bread in a hurry and I didn't have the raisins and it was still AMAZING. I may leave them out next time on purpose. Great! Moist! You will know how good this is 20 minutes after you put it into the oven and the delicious smell wafts from your kitchen. A must make. I am saving this recipe! item not reviewed by moderator and published
First made this April 13 2008. It was very easy to make which surprised me since difficulty was rated medium. Highly recommend. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This recipe was not only tastey it was easy to make and my husband loved it!!! He has asked me to bake it again for a canoe trip he is going to this coming end of april. He even took some to work and they loved it too! I replaced the raisins with dried cranberries and apricot since I had those handy, and it was GOOD! Since the recipe was for 2 loaves I baked one in a bread pan and the other in a cheesecake baking pan...it turned out just perfect! item not reviewed by moderator and published
The best ever! We toasted it in the morning after St. Pat's and it was delicious. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I tried this recipe today and found it not quite sweet enough for me. I may try adding a little honey to the batter next time as the honey butter really helped. I did us a home made buttermilk made with lemon juice maybe it needs the real thing? My daughter is not a big fan of caraway seeds so I only added one table spoon of toasted seeds because I don't think Its Irish soda bread without it!! It was moist and baked up well in the loaf pans. Will definitely try this again. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This was so easy that I thought I missed something. I was also concerned that the dough was rather wet, but the bread turned out wonderful. Not to sweet; moist but not wet. This recipe is now an official part of my annual St. Paddy's Day celebration in appreciation of my (mostly) Irish husband. An even nicer surprise was that I discovered that the recipe was contributed by Brother Rick Curry...who turns out to be the aforementioned husband's second cousin! Those Jesuit brothers sure know how to bake! Thank you so much. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I have been on an 6 year search for the best Irish soda bread recipe to make for my annual St. Patrick's Day party and have finally found it! By far the best Irish bread I've ever tasted (and I've tasted a lot)! Not only is this so tasty but also one of the easiest to make. Thanks Brother for contributing this wonderful recipe! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I have been searching for a good Irish Soda Bread recipe. I came across this recipe and it's a keeper! I prefer my bread to be on the moist side and this recipe is perfect! I used just dark raisins and soaked them in rum. My whole family loved it. -- Delicious! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Every year around St.Patty's Day,my family makes its yearly attempt at making an acceptable Irish Soda bread to take to our friends party.Every year,without fail,we try and get another traditional irish hockey puck!It is a long standing joke.But not this year,This recipe rocks and we will no longer be the butt of all jokes on St.Patty's Day! Thanks! item not reviewed by moderator and published
We had an Irish Christmas this year, and searved this with tea and hot chocolate during the presant opening part of the day. My Father who is 100% Irish could not put it down! He's had hundreds of soda breads in his lifetime, and made my day when he said this was the best he had ever had. I followed the recipe to a T. I made it two days in advance, and kept it wrapped in foil til searving time. I searved some honey butter on the side, but it didn't need it at all. Yum! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I love this bread. It goes really well with a nice cup of tea. Instead of using all raisins, I use half raisins and half currants. It doesn't make much of a difference, but I like it better this way. item not reviewed by moderator and published
i will leave out the caraway seeds next time. but these got rave reviews when i brought them into work for st. patrick's day. i made them into muffins so everyone had their own individual "bread"! :) item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is a wonderful recipe for Irish Soda Bread. My husband is a baker and he said that it is the best he has ever had. I formed the dough into two loaves and baked them on a buttered sheet pan. They came out golden and delicious! I will definately make this again! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This recipe is fabulous and easy. We halved the recipe (perfect for two people) and left out the caraway and raisins. I also whipped up some honey butter which was excellent with it! Definitely will be saving this one... item not reviewed by moderator and published
This was the most delicious soda bread I've had. The batter seems too moist when placing in the bread pans, but WOW! I would highly recommend this recipe to anyone. Everyone loved it! item not reviewed by moderator and published
They turned out as good as the show's did. Try soaking the raisins in rum!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This was a great, easy to make recipe and perfect for my large Irish family. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made this and substituted 1/2 cup of currants for some of the raisins. I also formed it into two round loaves instead of putting it into baking pans. It took about 1 hour 15 minutes to bake and is delicious. It is the first Irish soda bread I ever had that didn't taste like wallboard with raisins. item not reviewed by moderator and published
What I did right: We live at 7000ft. I used 5 and 1/3 cups of flour instead of 5 cups and that worked. I also used a rectangular pan because things sometimes don't cook in the middle up here and cooked it for 45 minutes with my 70's model oven on a convection setting. Where I messed up: I put in 2 tsp of baking soda and forgot about the baking powder until after the butter part. Then I put in 1 tsp of the baking powder and figured I should just go sob in the corner. To my surprise, this was really really good. My husband thought it was great and he loves Irish soda bread. This was my first time to make it. item not reviewed by moderator and published
The bread was delicious and very easy to make even for someone who rarely bakes. I used dried cherries for the raisins and left out the caraway seeds. I will be making this bread frequently. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I baked this soda bread and needed to bake for 1 hr. and 15 min. The bread has a moist texture and family and co-workers loved it. I will make this every St. Patrick's Day. Angela Bowden item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made this and took it to an Irish-style lunch at church. It got rave reviews and I received several requests for the recipe. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I substituted dried cranberries and it was great. item not reviewed by moderator and published

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St. Patrick's Day