Plenty Sweet Life

Grandma's Recipes One By One!

Irish Soda Bread

on March 16, 2016

I am not Irish, but my husband, my kids, and my in-laws are. Several years ago, we were at my sister-in-law’s house for dinner on St. Patrick’s Day and she served the most delicious corned beef and cabbage stew. This stew has become one of my family’s favorite traditions. A few years later, I found this wonderful recipe for Irish Soda Bread that goes great with the stew. I think it came from a local TV show, I’m not really sure. What I am sure about is that this bread has, also, become one of our favorite traditions. It’s so good warm from the oven with a bit of Irish butter melting over it and dribbling down your arm. I think it would also be delicious toasted with some homemade jam, but I’ll never know. The bread doesn’t last that long. We usually have 5 people (our family) here for dinner on or around St. Patrick’s Day, and I make 2 of these loaves of bread. There is NEVER any left. Ever. This bread is easy to make and is absolutely delicious.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Irish Soda Bread

Mix together:

4 cups flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 cup sugar

Rub in:

2 Tablespoons butter, softened


1 cup raisins, washed and drained


2 cups buttermilk

Spoon sticky dough onto floured bread board.

Mold dough into a mound (I give it a couple – but only a couple – of “kneads” to make it more of a loaf) and slide onto a floured baking sheet – this is tricky as it’s still sticky.

Cut an “X” into the top of the loaf.

Bake at 400 degrees for 40 minutes or until golden brown.

Bread will sound hollow on top when done.


There really aren’t a lot of ingredients. That’s the beauty of it – a quick and easy recipe.


The dough will definitely be sticky before turning it onto a floured surface.


Once you have the loaf on the baking sheet, cut an X in the top of the loaf. This is apparently to let out the devil and protect the family (this according to many internet sites). I’m sure it also has something to do with making the loaf bake more evenly.


Once it’s out of the oven, it’s golden brown and crusty.


It’s absolutely imperative that you load up the warm bread with butter – Irish butter if possible.


Don’t say I didn’t warn you about the butter dribbling down your arm. I know that this isn’t exactly the way they make soda bread in Ireland, but it’s the recipe that we love and make every year. It is delicious and you’ll love it, too. Bake up a wee bit o’ soda bread and enjoy St. Patty’s day!






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