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irish soda bread



  • 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for raisins
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 3/4 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.