irish soda bread

irish soda bread | The Clever Carrot

In New York City’s west village, you’ll find a wonderful bakery called Amy’s Bread.

Every so often (read: twice a week), I would pop in for their delicious Irish soda bread. I used to slather them in butter, and settle in to people-watch at the counter window.

irish soda bread | The Clever Carrot

What I liked about Amy’s, was that they offered their soda bread in 2 different sizes; 1 big loaf (for all of you traditionalists) or personal-sized ‘buns.’ I liked the smaller ones because they were great for dunking in coffee. Besides, 1 big loaf was just too big for little old me and the thought of wasting it drove me nuts. *See tip below.

irish soda bread | The Clever Carrotirish soda bread | The Clever Carrot

This recipe is adapted from Ina Garten and I make it every year for St. Patrick’s Day. It’s made with tangy buttermilk and studded with plump, juicy raisins. The texture is wonderfully moist. Ina makes hers into 1 large loaf, but I shape mine into buns so that everyone can have their own. Who doesn’t love a personal-sized portion? Without fail, someone always asks for the recipe.

*Have leftover soda bread? Don’t throw it away- turn them into biscotti! Layer thin slices of soda bread onto a parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake at 325 F for 15-20 minutes or until crisp. 

irish soda bread
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 8
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for raisins
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch dice
  • 1¾ cups cold buttermilk, shaken
  • 1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest (optional)
  • 1 cup dried currants (I used raisins)
To Serve
  • good quality butter, such as Kerrygold
* Irish soda bread tastes best on the day that it is baked.
  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the butter and mix on low speed until the butter is mixed into the flour.
  3. With a fork, lightly beat the buttermilk, egg, and orange zest (if using) together in a measuring cup. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture. Combine the raisins (or currants) with 1 tablespoon of flour and mix into the dough. It will be very wet.
  4. Dump the dough onto a well-floured board and knead it a few times into a round loaf. Lightly flour a large knife, and cut the dough into 8 equal pieces. Shape each one into a ball and place onto the prepared sheet pan. With a serrated knife, cut an X into the top of each one. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. When you tap on the bottom of the bread, it should have a hollow sound.
  5. Cool on a baking rack. Serve warm or at room temperature with butter.
*Have leftover soda bread? Don't throw it away- turn them into biscotti! Layer thin slices of soda bread onto a parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake at 325 F for 15-20 minutes or until crisp.


  1. says

    Such a great idea! I make Ina’s Irish Soda Bread every year too, and never thought to make individual loaves. Keeps it from drying out after you cut it, too! I’m totally doing this for St. Patty’s day this year.

    • Emilie says

      Hi there! Don’t you just love Ina’s recipe? I think I love everything she does… I’m a fan of the smaller loaves too for that very same reason- but if you end up with day old bread, turn them into biscotti (instructions at end of post)!! Thanks for stopping by!

  2. says

    Individual Irish soda breads! Yes, please. :) My go-to recipe is adapted from Ina Garten, too. Except I accidentally added twice the butter and the result was so delicious I never went back.

    I love Irish soda bread everything. A local bakery has Irish soda bread scones that are simply amazing!

  3. Linda says

    I have made this recipe 3 times and love the flavor and texture of the finished product. However, I find the dough to be so wet that I can’t knead it. I’m lucky to get the dough on the baking tray and formed into a blob
    ! Any hints? Thanks.

    • Emilie says

      Hi Linda,
      Yes I agree- the dough is definitely very wet! But don’t worry, this is how it’s supposed to be. If it’s not wet, the end product will be dry & dense.
      Here’s what I do: Before kneading, I make sure that my board is well floured. Sometimes it helps to sprinkle a little extra flour on top of the dough as well (no too much). At this point, I am able to give it a quick knead without it sticking all over the place. I knead the dough for a very short amount of time just to bring it together. You do not want to over knead! Then I cut the dough into 8 pieces to make individual portions.
      Hope this helps. If you have any other questions, please let me know! Good luck! :)

    • Emilie says

      OMG! You will be in NYC? How exciting!!! If you need any recommendations (restaurants, shops, etc) just let me know! xx

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