Irish Soda Bread

Round loaf of Irish Soda Bread on a wood cutting board on a blue kitchen towel.

Courtesy of, recipe by Robin Asbell
Recipe Information
Total Time: 1 hour; 20 minutes prep time
Servings: 12

If you are looking for a crusty, hearty bread that requires very little effort, this is the one for you. Since it is not a yeast bread, it doesn’t require any rising time; just stir it up and bake! Traditional Irish soda bread is just flour, salt, baking soda and buttermilk. This version is really like a giant scone, sweetened with honey and dappled with caraway and raisins.


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons cold butter
  • 1 tablespoon caraway seeds (optional)
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk (see Tip for substitutes), plus 2 tablespoons for brushing the top
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup raisins or currants (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Mix together flour, baking soda and caraway seeds in large bowl; use the large holes of a grater to grate the cold butter into the dry mixture, then toss until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  2. Add 3/4 cup buttermilk and honey to flour mixture; stir to make soft dough. Press the dough together; it will be dense like biscuit dough. If some of the mixture is too dry to incorporate into the dough, sprinkle in an extra tablespoon or so of buttermilk just to moisten loose flour. Stir in raisins.
  3. Shape into rounded disk about 8 inches across and place on greased cookie sheet. Brush top with the reserved buttermilk. If desired, cut an “X” in the top with a sharp knife. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until golden brown and crusty. Keeps tightly wrapped at room temperature for three or four days.

Serving Suggestion

This is a great breakfast bread, but it also goes great with a rustic beef stew or some Irish cheddar and smoked salmon.

Tips & Notes

You can substitute buttermilk with a mixture of 3/4 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar plus milk or non-dairy milk to equal 3/4 cup. Let sit for 5-10 minutes to thicken.

Nutritional Information

190 calories, 6 g. fat, 15 mg. cholesterol, 210 mg. sodium, 32 g. carbohydrate, 2 g. fiber, 4 g. protein