Happy St. Patrick’s Day! One of my favorite memories growing up was my mom making Irish Soda bread during March. It is a fairly straightforward bread and is really quite easy.
The bread uses baking soda instead of yeast as its leavening agent. Irish Soda Bread is also made with buttermilk that reacts with the baking soda to make it rise. Soda bread is a mostly savory bread, but it usually has some kind of dried fruit in it (raisins, currants, etc) that add a bit of sweetness.
My mom’s version has caraway seeds in it that add a little bit of an anise flavor to it (caraway seeds are typically found in rye bread) and I just love it. I wanted to make this with currants but couldn’t find any, so I used raisins. Feel free to substitute golden raisins or currants.
- 3 cups coarse wholemeal flour
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 4 tablespoons butter, chilled
- 2 tablespoons caraway seeds
- 1 cup raisins or other dried fruit
- 2 cups buttermilk, or more if needed
You can make this bread with just all-purpose flour. But the wholemeal flour has a nice coarse texture to it that is perfect in this bread. Wholmeal flour is just stoneground whole wheat grain with nothing added or removed. I used Odlums for this recipe, an Irish brand that is available in the U.S. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Take a round cake pan, pie pan, or cast iron skillet. Grease the pan/sheet with butter and set aside.
Add your dry ingredients to a large bowl and stir to combine.
Cut the butter into small squares and add to the dry ingredients. Use your hands to blend the butter into the dry ingredients until finely crumbled.
Add the raisins and caraway seeds.
Mix to combine, making a well in the center of the dry ingredients.
Add the buttermilk to the well and incorporate slowly into the dry ingredients.
The dough should be nice and sticky. If it looks too dry, add a bit more buttermilk.
Scrape the dough into your prepared pan. Shape the dough into a round ball.
Cut a cross into the top of the dough.
Bake uncovered at 375 for 30 minutes, then turn the oven down to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 15-25 minutes.
Isn’t that so easy?
The bread has a hint of a rye bread taste to it from the caraway seeds but is sweetened up with the raisins. The wholemeal flour makes the bread nice and chewy, perfect with some Irish butter or jam. Ingredients Instructions