Make this big, soft traditional Irish Soda bread with a few simple ingredients. Pairs perfectly with all Irish fare!
I must admit I’m not a connoisseur of Irish cuisine. I don’t even know what Irish people eat other than corned beef and cabbage. Perhaps that’s why I never heard of Irish Soda Bread until last year. I started seeing it on Pinterest, and I was intrigued. I liked its rustic look and the fact that you didn’t have to knead it or wait for it to rise. I made some and was shocked at how high it got, even though there was no yeast and only one teaspoon of baking powder and one teaspoon of baking soda! Just look at this huge piece of bread!
This bread is actually more like a REALLY big biscuit. However, the recipe uses a lot less butter than traditional biscuits. But don’t worry–the fat content is made up with buttermilk and sour cream.
Tips for making Irish Soda Bread
- If you don’t have buttermilk, you can substitute a mixture of milk and either lemon juice or white vinegar. Just put one tablespoon of either lemon juice or white vinegar in a 1-cup measuring cup and fill the rest with milk. I used skim milk, but you could use any kind.
- If you don’t have sour cream, you can substitute plain Greek yogurt.
- Before baking, the bread dough should look like shaggy biscuit dough and be quite sticky.
- Bake in a round 9-inch cast iron or cake pan. This will make your loaf perfectly round and beautiful.
- This bread absolutely needs raisins. If you make it without the raisins, it will lack sweetness. (I tried substituting semi-sweet chocolate chips one time, and it just didn’t taste right).
- After you put it in your baking pan, cut a large “x” in the top. Cut fairly deep. This will allow heat to get into the center of the bread so it can cook evenly.
I am so surprised at how easy and quick this recipe is to whip up. It needs to bake for 50 minutes, so you can make it first, pop it in the oven, then get to work on the rest of dinner. You’ll have hot, delicious bread that pairs wonderfully with any Irish dish. At least I assume it pairs well with any Irish dish. I could say that would more authority if I had more knowledge of Irish dishes 🙂
It’s also great for breakfast! You’ll want to eat this bread within two days, as it’s not as good when it’s not fresh.
Give it a try today! You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how easy and tasty it is!
- 4 cups flour
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1 cup buttermilk, (plus more if necessary)
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 large egg
- 3 cups raisins
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Spray a 9-inch cast iron pan or cake pan with baking spray and set aside.
- Add flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda to a large mixing bowl. Gently stir until everything is mixed.
- Add the softened butter and use a pastry cutter or two knives in a criss-cross fashion to cut the butter into the flour mixture. When butter is sufficiently cut in, the mixture should look crumbly with no big lumps.
- Using a wooden spoon, push the flour mixture to the sides of the bowl, leaving a well in the middle. Pour in the buttermilk, sour cream, and whisked egg. Gently fold all the ingredients together until everything is moistened. When only a little dry flour remains visible, stir in the raisins. If the mixture looks too dry and crumbly, add in a little more buttermilk. Be careful not to overwork the dough. You want to stir it as little as possible. The dough should be sticky and look shaggy.
- Pour the dough into your prepared baking pan. Sprinkle about one tablespoon (or more) of flour over the top and gently press the dough down so it fills the sides of the pan.
- Cut a large cross in the top of the dough. Be sure to cut deeply so that heat can get into the center of the bread.
- Bake for 50 minutes. After removing from the oven, let the bread cool for about 10 minutes before removing from the pan.