Soda bread is an easy bread and this Irish Soda Bread with Raisins is chewy, flavorful, slightly sweet and perfect for St Patrick’s Day!
Patrick’s Day is coming—and it will be the second year in a row where life isn’t quite normal. I’ll miss the live music and green beer! But perhaps a small Irish treat, something made right at home, can help make things a little better?
When I studied in Ireland many years ago, there were two types of Irish soda bread. The first was whole-grained and savory and I used to eat it with cheese and a pear for dinner on the run. The second was slightly sweet with raisins and seemed more treat-like to me. I posted the first a number of years ago here.
This Irish Soda bread comes from the wife of a former coworker and I believe it was a family recipe. He brought the bread into work one year for St Patrick’s day and it was a huge hit. I asked for the recipe and finally got around to making it.
How to Make Irish Soda Bread
If you aren’t a regular bread maker, a soda bread is a great place to start. To make it, you just:
Mix the dry ingredients (except raisins)
Bake, let cool and enjoy!
Tips and Comments
Since it uses baking soda for the rise instead of yeast, this bread is quicker and less tricky– you don’t need to decide if it is kneaded well or has properly risen! The baking soda doesn’t give you a light airy bread like yeast does, but I love the dense hearty feel that is enhanced by the oatmeal.
I usually use dried currants rather than raisins when I bake. Dried currants aren’t actually from the currant bush but instead are a small dried grape, aka raisin. I like the fact that, being smaller, they can be distributed better in a baked good.
Per Food52,“Soda bread may have raisins or caraway seed but traditionally not both together”. I admit I was skeptical when I saw them together in this recipe. But I knew I had eaten it at work and liked it so I went with the combo. And truly, I think they are a nice compliment.
Irish Soda Bread with Raisins
- 3 cups all-purpose flour or up to 1/2 cup more as needed
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 ½ cups oatmeal
- 2 Tablespoons caraway
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 1 cup raisins or currants
- Combine dry ingredients except for raisins. Rub in the butter with your fingers. Stir in the buttermilk, mixing well. Add raisins and additional flour as needed if too soft. Dough should be sticky but hold a shape. Mix with a dough hook or knead by hand for a couple minutes.
- On a parchment-lined cookie sheet, shape into a flattened ball about 10 inches in diameter. Cut a cross in the top.
Bake at 350 F for 50-60 min. Let cool before cutting.
Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day!
- Beer Battered Bangers by Palatable Pastime
- Boxty by Magical Ingredients
- Irish Soda Bread Muffins by Cheese Curd In Paradise
- Lime Poke Cake by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Nana’s Potato Pancakes by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
- Raisin Irish Soda Bread by Art of Natural Living
- Shephard’s Pie by That Recipe
- Seafood Pasta Puttanesca
- Lemon White Chocolate Mini Cheesecakes