Irish soda bread is quite possibly the easiest bread recipe you can make. What makes it so easy? Well, for starters you really don’t need to knead the bread. And, this is a no yeast bread! No yeast needed to help this bread rise, which for me is another reason why this is a super easy bread recipe.
Irish soda bread is a classic recipe for St. Patrick’s day. It’s easy to make and goes with just about any main dish. It’s hearty with a crumbly crust and is perfect with salted butter.
If you’ve never had this before you might be wondering what are those little bits throughout the bread. They might look like chocolate chips, but they are actually raisins! The raisins in the bread add a hint of sweet in each bite and really make this bread much more exciting than just a regular old loaf of bread.
Raisins vs Currants
Some Irish soda bread recipes might call for currants instead of raisins. So what’s the difference? They are similar in the fact that they are both derived from a dried grape, but the difference lies in the type of grape they come from. A currant are dried fruits from a Black Corinth grape. They are seedless, they are sweet but also can be described as more tart than a raisin.
A raisin is the dried fruit from a Muscat grape, which are green grapes. They are sweeter than a currant and a common snack. They absorb liquids and flavors and are a popular dried fruit in baking because of this.
I love the burst of sweet the raisins give in this bread, it’s the perfect combination with the cool butter!
Why soda bread?
Maybe you’re like me, I had always wondered why it was called ‘soda’ bread. As a kid I thought maybe there was soda in the batter! Maybe it was club soda, or Sprite. I couldn’t be more wrong.
Since this is a bread without yeast, it needs a different leavening agent. The baking soda does the work of making the bread rise. I know, it’s not that exciting. But, it’s exciting that no yeast and no kneading makes this an easy bread you can whip up!
I make this every year, and every year I tell myself I need to make it more often. It’s such an easy versatile bread. A little sweet from the sugar in the dough and the raisins. It’s a sturdy, hearty bread. The crust gets nice and browned and crunchy, and it’s perfect for sweet salted cold butter. While this is totally fun as a dinner bread, I actually love this with a cup of coffee in the morning. It’ a great replacement to a scone or muffin!
So, have you ever made Irish Soda Bread before? Are you making it this year?
If you like easy baking recipes then you might also want to make my Copycat Orange Panera Scones.Print
Irish Soda Bread
Irish Soda Bread is a hearty and sweet bread with raisins. No yeast is required, the baking soda is the leavening agent that makes the bread rise. Have this as a dinner side item or at breakfast with coffee.
- Prep Time: 10
- Cook Time: 55
- Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
- Yield: 1 loaf
- Category: Baking
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: Irish
4 cups flour
4 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons cold butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 3/4 cups cold buttermilk, shaken
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 cup raisins
1. Heat oven to 375. Prepare a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray.
2. Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt with an electric mixer with the paddle attachment. Add the butter and mix on low until the butter is combined.
3. Lightly beat the egg in the buttermilk and with the mixer on low speed pour into flour mixture. Mix the raisins in a tablespoon of flour and add into the dough.
4. Flour your counter-top and your hands. Dump the dough on the flour and lightly knead a few times until you get a round loaf. It will be very sticky at first so make sure you have enough flour so it doesn’t stick to your hands.
5. Place the loaf onto the baking sheet and cut an ‘X’ into the top with a serrated knife. Bake for 50-55 minutes, until a knife comes out clean.
Adapted from: Barefoot Contessa
Keywords: irish soda bread, bread without yeast