World's Best Irish Soda Bread Recipe! (2024)

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Sweet Irish Soda Bread recipe has agolden, crunchy, sweet crust with a moist, buttermilk interior, and tangy cranberries dotted throughout. The best soda bread mixes up in minutes and includes easy gluten-free adaptations!

World's Best Irish Soda Bread Recipe! (1)

Best Irish Soda Bread Recipe!

Sweet Soda Bread was the only Irish soda bread recipe I ate growing up, so I assumed all versions were equally yummy. Turns out, not so much.

During college I celebratedSt. Patrick’s Day the way any collegiate would – drinking lots of green beer.

But I wasn’t a complete heathen. The night had to start with proper meal atan Irish pub.

When the server placed the Irish Soda Bread on the table I happily dug in, forewarning my friends to get ready for the best, moist, goodness ever.

I immediately spit it out, swearing to my friends I would make them”real” Irish soda bread so they could experiencewhat bread heaven tastes like.

Turns out the recipe I grew up on wasn’t exactly from the old country. You see, Mom used asmidgenmore sugar than traditional recipes.

Hence, why we counted down the days to the St. Patrick’s meal growing up. We couldn’t wait to get our hands on two of my mom’s most anticipated recipes – Irish Soda Bread dotted with raisins or dried cranberries and her Slow Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage with apple juice .

What is Irish Soda Bread?

Irish soda bread typically has a hard crust with a tangy, moist interior. It’s considered a quick bread because baking soda is used to leaven the bread instead of yeast.

Soured milk or buttermilk is used to activate the baking soda.

The region of Ireland determines the shape of the bread. Irish Soda Bread can be a round loaf, triangular shapes, or flattened discs.

Sweet soda bread recipes, like this one, will taste differently than traditional Irish soda bread. It’s extremely moist, more sweet tasting and cake-like. None of these things are a bad thing in my book!

How to Make Sweet Irish Soda Bread

(Below shows step-by-step photos and modified instructions. For the complete recipe, along with ingredient amounts, scroll down to the recipe card.)

This easy soda bread recipe requires no yeast, kneading or baking expertise! Better yet, it may be made with traditional or gluten-free flour to make a yummy gluten-free Irish soda bread recipe.

Find the step-by-step pictures below or go to this visual web story of how to make Irish soda bread.

World's Best Irish Soda Bread Recipe! (3)
  1. Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.
  2. Make a well in the middle by pushing the dry ingredients from the middle of the bowl.
  3. Whisk together liquid ingredients – melted butter, buttermilk, and egg.
  4. Pour the liquid ingredients into the flour mixture and stir together.
  5. Add the dried cranberries (or raisins) and mix until no flour pockets remain. The dough will be thick, so sometimes I briefly knead with my hands in the bowl.
  6. Place in buttered cast iron pan, 9-inch round cake pan, or baking sheet. Slash the top with a sharp knife and bake in a 350ºF oven for 1 hour.

Why is there a cross on Soda Bread?

Traditionally a cross was slashed on the top of the bread to ward off the devil and protect the household from bad spirits.

However, since Sweet Irish Soda Bread contains an ample amount of baking powder, the slash also helps the bread to rise rapidly without cracking.

Gluten-Free Irish Soda Bread

Lucky for those of you on a gluten-free diet. This bread can be transformed into the best gluten-free Irish soda bread as well!

Traditional Irish Soda Bread is a quick bread, meaning no yeast or rest is needed for it to rise. These types of breads work wonderfully when substituting gluten-free flour.

Substituting a quality gluten-free flour, such as Cup4Cup makes a gluten-free Irish soda bread recipe so good no one knows the difference. Instead of making separate loaves for my family and myself, we all enjoy the gluten-free recipe with just as much gusto!

Learn more about the best gluten-free flours, and see which ones work well for baking breads, or discover more gluten-free bread recipes in this free resource!

freezing and storing

Store leftovers, well wrapped, at room temperature up to two days. Avoid refrigerating the bread because it will dry out.

Since this soda bread recipe is extremely hard to ignore, I’m glad it this bread freezes very well!

Once the bread has cooled completely, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and transfer to a freezer bag.

Alternatively, cool it completely, slice, and then transfer to a freezer bag. This allows you to grab and thaw slices as needed.

What to Serve with Irish Soda Bread

If you are looking for what to serve with soda bread, the most perfect accompaniment is corned beef and cabbage, of course!

Check out this game-changing Slow Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage flavored with apple, brown sugar, and whole grain mustard. But, if you’d rather cook the cabbage separately, try Crispy Roasted Cabbage Steaks recipe instead.

This recipe is so addicting, though, many home cooks make it year round, not just for St. Patrick’s Day. It’s wonderful served warm with butter and jam for breakfast or serve alongside Irish stew, baked potato soup, or it makes an easy side dish to serve with shepherd’s pie.

World's Best Irish Soda Bread Recipe! (4)

baking pan options for irish soda bread

If you don’t own a cast iron skillet, no problem! This bread may be baked in a variety of pans.

The easiest substitution for a cast iron skillet is a round cake pan. Grease a 9-inch cake pan and shape the dough into a ball in the middle. As the bread bakes, the dough will spread and fill out the pan.

A baking sheet may also be used. Simply shape the dough into ball in the middle of a greased baking sheet, or line with parchment paper. The dough will spread slightly, but it will still maintain its ball shape.

Some readers have also split the dough between two bread loaf pans. If diving the dough, the baking time will decrease. Start checking around 35 minutes baking time.

Substitution for Buttermilk

Irish soda bread made with buttermilk gives a creamy, tangy taste and moist interior. Also, according to Fine Cooking, buttermilk adds acidity, which keeps bake goods moist and tender by breaking down gluten.

If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, save yourself a trip to the store. It can easily be made at home in five minutes!

  1. Pour 1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice in a measuring cup.
  2. Add milk until you have 1 1/3 cup total liquid.
  3. Let sit for 5-10 minutes, stir, and then use.

More baking tips and modifications

  • Instead of cranberries substitute raisins, dried cherries or leave the dried fruit out completely.
  • For an added hint of orange add 1 tablespoon orange zest with the wet ingredients.
  • Adjust the amount sugar for personal taste.
  • When baking gluten-free Irish soda bread, the baking time will increase by 5-10 minutes.
  • For an authentic add-in, substitute raisins and add 2 teaspoons caraway seeds.

Click here to see thestep-by-step web story instructions for this recipe!

World's Best Irish Soda Bread Recipe! (5)

more the best Bread Recipes

  • Blueberry Zucchini Bread
  • Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bread
  • Bacon Maple Cornbread
  • Fluffy Gluten Free Biscuits

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Sweet Irish Soda Bread (Extra Moist)

Sweet Irish Soda Bread recipe has agolden, crunchy, sweet crust with a moist, buttermilk interior, and tangy cranberries dotted throughout. The best soda bread mixes up in minutes and includes easy gluten-free adaptations!

4.60 from 274 votes

Print Pin Rate

Prep Time: 10 minutes minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour hour

Total Time: 1 hour hour 5 minutes minutes

Servings: 12

Author: Melissa Erdelac

Ingredients

US CustomaryMetric

Instructions

  • Heat oven to 350ºF. Grease a cast iron skillet or 9-inch round pan with butter. (See recipe notes for other options.)

  • Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the center by pushing the dry ingredients away from the center.

    4 cups all purpose flour or gluten-free flour,1 cup granulated sugar,1 teaspoon baking soda,1 teaspoon baking powder,¼ teaspoon salt

  • In a small bowl whisk together the melted and cooled butter, buttermilk, and egg.

    ⅓ cup unsalted butter,1⅓ cup buttermilk,1 egg

  • Add the liquid ingredients to the dry, pouring it into the well and stir to form a soft dough. The dough will be very thick and might need to be kneaded slightly to work in the flour. Add the cranberries. Mix or knead until no flour pockets remain.

    ¾ cup dried cranberries

  • Shape dough into a ball (use lightly wet fingers if dough is sticky) and transfer to the prepared pan. Use a sharp knife to make an "X" on top of the the ball.

  • Bake until set, about 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes. Insert a knife or toothpick in the middle to make sure it's set. To prevent the bread from becoming overly brown, loosely tent foil over top for the last 10-15 minutes baking time. Baking times can be longer, depend on the size of pan you bake it in and if using gluten-free flour, which takes longer.

  • DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? DON'T FORGET TO GIVE IT A STAR RATING AND COMMENT BELOW!

COOKBOOK SALE!Get 30% OFF this Gluten-Free Digital Cookbook Bundle, essential GF breads, desserts, and lunch recipes!

LET’S BE FRIENDS ON INSTAGRAM!Follow @mamagourmand and tag me in the recipe pic!

Recipe Notes

baking pan options

The easiest substitution for a cast iron skillet is a round cake pan. Grease a 9-inch cake pan and shape the dough into a ball in the middle. As the bread bakes, the dough will spread and fill out the pan.

A baking sheet may also be used. Simply shape the dough into ball in the middle of a greased baking sheet, or line with parchment paper. The dough will spread slightly, but it will still maintain its ball shape.

Some readers have also split the dough between two bread loaf pans. If diving the dough, the baking time will decrease. Start checking around 35 minutes baking time.

Substitution for Buttermilk

  1. Pour 1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice in a measuring cup.
  2. Add milk until you have 1 1/3 cup total liquid.
  3. Let sit for 5-10 minutes, stir, and then use.

More baking tips and modifications

  • Instead of cranberries substitute raisins, dried cherries, or leave the dried fruit out completely.
  • For an added hint of orange add 1 tablespoon orange zest with the wet ingredients.
  • Adjust the amount sugar for personal taste.
  • When baking gluten-free Irish soda bread, the baking time will increase by 5-10 minutes.
  • For an authentic add-in, substitute raisins and add 2 teaspoons caraway seeds.

Nutrition

Calories: 173kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 18mg | Sodium: 131mg | Potassium: 47mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 133IU | Calcium: 45mg | Iron: 1mg

Course: Bread

Categories: Baking Breads Fall Freezer-Friendly Gluten Free Recipes Spring St. Patrick’s Day Summer Winter

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World's Best Irish Soda Bread Recipe! (2024)

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