This Irish Soda Bread is a family favorite for St. Patrick’s Day! It’s incredibly moist and loaded with currants and golden raisins. Soooo delicious served warm and slathered with butter!
Updated: This post was first published here in March 2018. I decided it was worthy of a re-share because it’s a St. Patrick’s Day family favorite. I’ve added new notes to the post below.
Growing up, there was always freshly baked Irish Soda Bread and corned beef and cabbage for St. Patrick’s Day at our house. It was a feast worthy of a true Irishman. We don’t have one iota of Irish in us, but on St. Patrick’s Day we were Irish and loved every minute of it! And every bite of it too!
If you’re a regular follower of the blog, you know my mother was an awesome cook, but she was not a baker. So when it came to the recipe, she brought in the big guns. She called on a good family friend who was legit Irish. Now authentic Irish Soda Bread does not have raisins or caraway seeds. It’s more of a plain, everyday white soda bread, but many people do add them. My mother’s version has currants, golden raisins and caraway seeds.
What is Irish Soda Bread?
It’s a type of quick bread that features sodium bicarbonate as a leavening agent instead of yeast.
Was soda bread invented by the Irish?
Technically no. The Irish were not the first people to use bicarbonate of soda in bread-making. Native Americans were the first to use pearl-ash or potash (a natural soda in wood ashes) in their breads to make them rise. The Irish adopted soda bread in the 1800s.
Irish Soda Bread Ingredients
- all-purpose flour
- granulated sugar
- baking powder
- baking soda
- kosher salt
- caraway seeds
- unsalted butter
- dried currants
- golden raisins
My mom always baked her soda bread in a pie plate, but you can also just place the loaf on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Some things you’ll need to know: the dough will be very shaggy and sticky, you don’t want to over-knead the dough or it will be tough, and you’ll want to score the top of the dough with an X about an inch and a half deep. This will guarantee the heat gets to the center of the loaf as it’s baking.
You’ll love how moist the loaf is. And I think you’ll also enjoy the currants and the golden raisins. I love caraway seeds, but if you’re not a fan, just omit them. This bread is perfect plain or lightly toasted with butter.
I hope this recipe becomes a tradition at your house for St. Patrick’s Day too! And if you’re planning ahead and looking for other delicious St. Patrick’s Day recipes try my Bangers and Mash with Guinness Onion Gravy and my Reuben Poppers.
Please let me know if you give the recipe a try. And if you have any questions about the recipe, just drop a comment below. Enjoy!
A Few Cook’s Notes for Irish Soda Bread
The caraway seeds are optional in this recipes. If you’re not a fan, just omit.
Make sure to cut the X at the top of your loaf before baking. This is called scoring. When bread bakes it quickly expands when it is first placed in the oven and scoring controls the expansion.
More Delicious St. Patrick’s Day Recipes to Enjoy
- 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 2 Tbsp. caraway seeds
- 6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
- 2 cups cold buttermilk
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup dried currants
- 1 cup golden raisins
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously spray a 9x2-inch deep pie plate with nonstick cooking spray.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together 4 1/4 cups flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and caraway seeds. Add the butter and mix on low speed until coarse crumbs form.
- In a small bowl, lightly whisk together the buttermilk and the egg. With the mixer on low, slowly add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture just until incorporated.
- Toss the currants and raisins with the remaining 1/4 cup flour, and add to the dough. Dough will be sticky. Dump the dough onto a well-floured surface. Sprinkle the dough a bit with some flour as it will be hard to shape into a loaf without some and form into a round, domed loaf. Place into prepared pie plate. Using a sharp knife, cut a deep X in the top of the loaf. Bake until the loaf is cooked though and a tester inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Cool in the pie plate for 15 minutes, then move to wire rack to cool completely. Can be served warm with butter or at room temperature.