Irish Soda Bread

I wanted to make an Irish Soda Bread so I went on a hunt for a good recipe… which surprisingly enough .. was far more involved and difficult than I expected. Let me start with most recipes consist of flour, baking soda, buttermilk, and salt… and from there it goes… some add raisins, nuts, caraway seeds, eggs, butter and/or dried fruits such as cranberries… the modifications seem endless…

So I started weeding through all recipes… most do add butter and raisins… so what is the traditional Irish Soda Bread?... seems everyone who claims Irish heritage has an opinion. I read hundreds of recipe reviews … and decided on one that had a unique ingredient… sour cream… there were several that used this… but my dilemma was … it didn’t have butter… I debated and debated .. and finally decided based on literally hundreds of reviews of this recipe… I would try it…

I can tell you it really is easy… and seems flawless… the bread surely lives up to the hundreds of 5 star reviews I found on Allrecipes… the recipe I used as a base was credited to “Penquin Lady”… I have no idea the reason for the odd nickname… but she has one mighty fine recipe for Irish Soda Bread.


The only change I made was the amount of raisins and omitted the 1 tablespoon caraway seeds… the original recipe lists 3 cups of raisins.. based on many reviews… I cut the raisin amount.. most reviewers cut it to one cup… I started with one cup and decided when mixing it in… that 1 ½ cups would be a better amount.

The recipe uses 1 ¼ cups buttermilk… I keep a can of powdered buttermilk in my pantry… I used 5 tablespoons of dried buttermilk mixed into 1 ¼ cups water…. it worked perfectly… it’s a wise thing to keep in your pantry… unless you use lots of buttermilk… keeping buttermilk on hand can be a waste of money and it isn’t cheap.

I mixed the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in my Kitchen Aid mixing bowl… then added the wet ingredients… a quick mix.. then I used my dough hook to finish the kneading. The dough is very very sticky… it resembles a cross between a sticky wet dough and a batter… so it’s easier to use the dough hook.

This recipe is scrumptious and easy… what could be better?!

Recipe: Irish Soda Bread

All you need:

4 cups flour
½ cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups raisins
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 ¼ cups buttermilk
1 cup sour cream

All you need to do:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Grease a 9 inch round cast iron skillet or 9 inch round cake pan (I used shortening).

Beat the eggs in a medium bowl or large measuring cup.

Add the buttermilk and sour cream. Mix well.

In a standing mixer bowl or large bowl, combine the flour (reserve 1 tablespoon of flour to sprinkle on top later) sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix well.

Add the raisins to the flour mixture, mix well.

Add the buttermilk mixture to the dry ingredients and mix until the flour is moistened.

Using a dough hook knead the dough on a medium speed for about 2 minutes…. OR knead by hand about 14 strokes (I highly recommend the dough hook method). The dough will be extremely sticky, almost batter-like.

Turn the dough into the prepared pan.

Using a sharp knife cut a 4 inch long and ¾ inch deep cross into the center of the dough.

Sprinkle reserved flour on top (best and easiest method is to use a small strainer and tap flour on top)… I did not use the complete tablespoon… I discarded the rest of the flour I didn’t sprinkle.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 65 to 75 minutes… I baked mine for 65 minutes.

Let cool about 20 minutes in the pan.

Turn out onto a wire rack and cool.

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