Irish Soda Bread

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B is for Baking: Irish Soda Bread

Quite awhile ago now I was lucky enough to spend several years living in Boston while working on my Master’s degree.  I made wonderful friends and fell in love with the amazing city.  Of course, Boston is known for its large Irish population so it is no surprise that I made several good friends with Irish heritage.  I acquired this great recipe for Irish Soda Bread from one of those dear friends and I absolutely love it. It is family recipe that has been passed down through generations. This bread is simple to put together, has just a touch of sweetness and is the perfect accompaniment to any Irish meal (or any meal, really). Now I want to share this great recipe with you!

Irish Soda Bread

Irish Soda Bread

Irish Soda Bread


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons caraway seeds (optional)


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Cut in 1/4 cup of shortening. Next add the eggs, milk, raisins and caraway seeds if desired. Stir together until the dough forms - it will be thick and sticky. Spread the dough in 1 large or 2 small greased loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees until the top is golden brown and a toothpick into the center comes out clean. 40-50 minutes for a large loaf pan or 30-40 minutes for 2 smaller pans.

I was curious about why this bread is called “soda bread” when there is no soda in the recipe.  Traditional Irish soda bread contains only flour, baking soda, buttermilk and salt, but there are now countless variations. The “soda” part of the recipe I have shared comes from the baking powder which is partially made of sodium bicarbonate (aka baking soda). Interesting stuff, huh?

I do not usually add the caraway seeds to this recipe mostly because I have a toddler who is suspicious of anything seed-like in her food. I bet they would add great flavor though.  I can’t wait for you to try this delicious recipe too.  Let me know how it turns out for you and what you think. Enjoy!

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6 thoughts on “Irish Soda Bread

  1. My husband was JUST saying he was craving some Irish soda bread. And this one looks easy enough for me to do with three kids under my feet : )

    • Oh, Jamie, I think you will love this recipe. It is so yummy! And I know the challenges of cooking or baking with little people under foot. You’ve totally got this one. Let me know how it turns out. Thanks for stopping by!

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