Growing up, my mom made this Irish soda bread all the time. We had it for breakfast, for snacks, and for dessert. To this day, I would be happy to eat it nonstop. Some links in this post are affiliate links that earn me a commission if you purchase through them.
This week, I had a plan for what I was going to put up on Tasty Tuesday. It’s my week to bring in lunch for everyone at the bi-weekly PTO president meeting in my district. And hey, it’s St. Patrick’s Day on Wednesday, so making something Irish was an easy choice.
Not so easy? Figuring out what to bring for 25 or so people that’s Irish but isn’t something that half the people won’t like.
Thus, corned beef was out. And lamb stew. I was going to do baked potatoes with a variety of toppings, including chili, until that was done last meeting.
Then I found inspiration (literally). While cleaning off my book shelf to make more room for the wee ones’ books, I discovered that I have a traditional Irish recipes cookbook.
I eagerly leafed through it. And then I decided that I was bringing in the cookbook just to show everyone how lucky they are that I didn’t bring in any of those items.
I was back to the drawing board and drawing a blank. I finally decided to make a potato soup, fresh bread, scones, and Irish soda bread. Wa-la. Hopefully that’s enough food to make everyone happy.
The Irish soda bread I make is the same one that my mom makes that her mom made that she got from her husband’s family who came from Ireland. There are two kinds of Irish soda bread, and this one is the sweet non yeast version.
You’ll notice in the picture that the bread has butter on it. Odd, I know, but this is something my family does.
While I rarely put butter on regular bread, my family taught me to put butter on other bread – like products that definitely don’t need any additional fat or calories – coffee cakes, muffins, cinnamon rolls, and the like.
Go fig. It’s what we do. And the butter on the Irish soda bread is pretty yummy.
How to Make Irish Soda Bread
Grease two large loaf pans. Make sure to preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Cut in the butter until pea sized chunks appear. Add the raisins and stir to distribute.
In a liquid measuring cup, add the egg to the buttermilk and whisk gently until the egg is lightly beaten and no goopy strands remain. Why do it in the measuring cup? Because that’s one less dish to clean!
Add the buttermilk mixture to the dry ingredients, and stir gently until just combined.
This makes a very thick batter. Don’t be like my daughter’s home ec class that didn’t trust a recipe and added flour because it looked too runny. They ended up with dry cupcakes. It’s supposed to be this thick!
Turn into the two loaf pans, and cut across the top lengthwise. This allows your bread to rise and bake properly as it is such a thick batter.
Bake at 350 degrees for about an hour. Remove from the oven once your cake tester comes out with just a few crumbs.
Butter the top when it comes out of the oven. Lay your loaf pan on one side for a few minutes, then the opposite side for a few minutes. After both sides, remove from the pan and continue cooling on a wire rack.
Enjoy warm or room temperature. This will keep for a few days but is best within the first two days. Store unsliced in an airtight container.
And yes, butter makes it better!
Irish Soda Bread
This is the traditional non-yeasted Irish soda bread passed down in my family from my Irish grandfather. It's so good as a breakfast, snack, or even dessert.
- 5 c flour
- 1 c sugar
- 1 T baking powder
- 2 t baking soda
- 1/2 t salt
- 1/2 c butter
- 2 1/2 c seedless raisins
- 2 1/2 c buttermilk
- 1 egg
- Grease two large loaf pans. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in large mixing bowl. Cut in butter until pea sized chunks appear. Add raisins and stir to distribute.
- In a liquid measuring cup, add egg to buttermilk and whisk gently until the egg is lightly beaten. Add mixture to dry ingredients, and stir gently until just combined.
- Turn into loaf pans, and cut across the top lengthwise. Bake at 350 degrees for about 50-60 minutes until tester comes out with crumbs.
- Butter loaf top when it comes out of the oven. Lay on pan its side for a few minutes, then lay on the opposite side for a few minutes to loosen edges. After both sides, remove from the pan and continue cooling on a wire rack.
Enjoy warm or room temperature. This will keep for a few days but is best within the first two days. And yes, butter makes it better!
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1 slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 223Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 19mgSodium: 299mgCarbohydrates: 42gFiber: 1gSugar: 19gProtein: 4g
This site uses an outside service to calculate nutrition. If you need exact nutrition information, please calculate yourself.
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Tuesday 14th of March 2023
Don't hate me....can I use oil instead of the butter? I know butter will be better but it's not as affordable right now. Thanks, looks great!
Tuesday 14th of March 2023
So I have never tried to use oil in place of the butter. You usually can in a quick bread recipe, but here you cut the butter into the flour, which wouldn't work. You could *try* it, but I can't guarantee success. I would suggest mixing the oil with the buttermilk and adding it then if you do try it. But honestly, I would do butter if you at all can.
Saturday 6th of August 2022
Thank you so much for making and showing a recipe for Irish soda bread, done as a loaf. So often it is shown in a round cake pan. I much prefer loaf shaped breads of both sweet, and savory varieties. I look forward to trying this one!
Tuesday 16th of August 2022
You're welcome! This is the one I grew up with from my gram, and shhhhh I like it better than the versions I see in the stores around St. Patrick's Day. It's a completely different style bread.
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