Irish Soda Bread

When I was a sophomore in college, I took a class on the history of Ireland. (This was years before I met Dave!) The culminating activity for that class was to have a lavish Irish feast at the home of the professor. I gleaned this recipe for Irish Soda Bread from that evening, as well as many fond memories; Dr. Wells was my favorite college professor of all time.

Irish Soda Bread

  • 2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 t. baking powder
  • 3/4 t. baking soda
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1/3 c. sugar
  • 1 T. caraway seeds
  • 3 T. butter
  • 1 c. buttermilk or sour milk*
  • 2/3 c. raisins, coarsely chopped
  • 1 T. orange zest (grated orange peel)
  • 1 T. melted butter
  • 1 T. sugar
  • 1/4 t. ground cinnamon

I always bake this in my medium-sized cast iron skillet. I’m not sure why. It turns out wonderfully, so I keep doing it.

Grease said skillet generously and set aside.

Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, 1/3 c. sugar, orange peel, and caraway seeds. Add cold butter and mix until crumbly. Pour in buttermilk and add raisins. Mix lightly. Turn out onto a floured board and knead gently a few times. Shape into a ball and place in skillet. Be careful not to overmix or overknead this dough. The less you mix it, the softer and lighter the bread will be.

Use a sharp knife or scissors to cut the dough crosswise into quarters, cutting about 2/3 of the way down through the dough. Brush with 1 T. melted butter and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mix.

Bake for 35-40 minutes at 375° until golden brown. Eat HOT with lots of butter.

This delicious soda bread is a MUST for your St. Patrick’s Day dinner.

*To sour milk, put 1 T. vinegar in a liquid measuring cup. Add enough milk to make one full cup. Let this sit and curdle for a couple of minutes before using it.


5 thoughts on “Irish Soda Bread

  1. My mouth is watering! My mom-in-law makes this with corned beef and cabbage on St. Patrick’s Day every year. I’ll have to show this recipe to her and compare notes. I love how you say, “Eat HOT with lots of butter” … sounds delicious! Hey if you get a break from cooking this week, you can visit my site to send out free St. Patrick’s Day eCards.

  2. We came from Ireland in 1953 and never heard of corned beef and cabbage till we arrived. I learned it was a dish for the poor Irish in NYC and Boston. When the beef started to go bad the butcher would corn it to preserve it and sell it cheaper. So it became associated with the Irish in the US.

  3. Barb,

    I made this tonight, followed your instructions to the letter, and…

    it was heavenly! I’m going to post it to my Maine blog.
    Thanks! 😉

  4. I love all kinds of cakes and breads. My family came from Ireland in 1958 and we also never heard of Corned Beef and Cabbage until we got here. For the history of soda bread a traditional recipes, stop by for some interesting background.

    Happy St. Patrick’s Day

  5. Pingback: St Patrick's Day Food | My Sister's Kitchen

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