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The finished Easy Irish Soda Bread cooling on a rack

Easy Irish Soda Bread Recipe

  • Author: Marie Bostwick
  • Yield: Yields one loaf 1x


  • 4 cups flour, plus extra for kneading
  • 1 T sugar (if you’re planning on serving with a savory meal, you can leave it out)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 4 T unsalted butter, quartered and sliced into half-inch pieces
  • 1 cup raisins (optional)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 ¾ cup buttermilk


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Place the flour, sugar (if using), salt and baking soda into a large mixing bowl. Stir or whisk to combine ingredients.
  3. Add the small pieces of butter to the dry ingredients. Cut the butter into the flour, either by using a pastry cutter or by using your clean hands to pinch the pieces of butter into very small pieces, not larger than a very small pea, until the mixture resembles a coarse meal.
  4. Stir in the raisins, if using. Then add the beaten egg and buttermilk to the bowl and stir to combine, being careful not to overwork the dough. It will be fairly sticky but should hold into a loose ball. If not, at a little more flour.
  5. Turn the ball of dough out onto a well-floured surface. Dust flour onto your clean hands and knead the dough very briefly, just until it’s holding together. Use your hands to shape it into a round loaf.
  6. Use a serrated knife to cut a deep cross into the top of the loaf. Place the bread onto a baking pan or a lightly greased cast iron skillet.
  7. Bake in a preheated oven for 45 minutes. Check the oven after 35 minutes. If the loaf is getting too browned, cover with a loose cap of foil.
  8. Remove baked bread from oven, allow to cool a few minutes before serving.