St. Patrick’s Day Homecookin’: Irish Soda Bread

Date March 16, 2010

NYC Food Guy is proud to present another great recipe from Homecookin’ contributor Spice Jonze’n. If you’d like to contribute your recipes to the site e-mail [email protected].  Take it away Spice…

When I get my annual craving for Irish soda bread, I know St. Patrick’s Day is close and it’s time to bake this simple and delicious treat.  My mother has been using this recipe for as long as I can remember and it consistently comes out great (add green food coloring for an extra touch). The caraway seeds give this loaf a great flavor and the consistency of the bread makes it like a large scone. It goes great with corned beef or toasted with eggs but it’s also great warm with butter.  Be aware that with all baking there is a science behind the ingredients and procedures; it is important to be exact with the measurements to produce the most delicious outcome every time.

Irish Soda Bread -


  • 4 cups All Purpose Flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 4 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 1 cup Raisins (Blanched in 1 cup boiling water, simmer until plump)
  • 1 Tbls. Caraway Seeds
  • 1 ½ cup Whole Milk or Buttermilk

The Dough

1. Preheat the oven to 450o, If you have a stone place it in the oven now.
2. Combine the dry ingredients with a whisk.
3. Add the raisins and the caraway seeds and give a quick whisk to combine.
4. Now mix in the milk and start to bring the dough together with a spoon or spatula.
5. Keep mixing until a loose dough forms and then you can use your hands to bring together and knead.

Irish Soda Bread -

6. Keep kneading until the dough becomes smooth and you can shape it into a round.

Irish Soda Bread -

7. Reduce the oven to 350o, sprinkle a little cornmeal down on the stone, or place on a baking sheet.

8. Take a sharp knife and cut an X into the top of the loaf.

Irish Soda Bread -


Irish Soda Bread -

Bake the bread for 50 minutes

When you remove the bread from the oven, tap the bottom with your finger, if you hear a slightly hollow sound the bread should be finished, you want to make sure it is cooked all the way through so there is no doughy center. You may stick a longer toothpick into the center and if it comes out clean, it is finished.

Let sit for a few minutes.  Then, chow time! Slice and serve warm with butter.

Bon appétit,
Spice Jonze’n

10 Responses to “St. Patrick’s Day Homecookin’: Irish Soda Bread”

  1. Food for thought said:

    Happy St. Patrick’s Day and lots of “Luck of the Irish”.
    The bread looks picture perfect.
    Can’t wait to try out the recipe.

  2. Brunkstar said:

    This bread is amazing! A MUST for St. Patty’s Day…Everyone is Irish on March 17th!!

  3. MOE said:

    Hi Food guy,




  4. Marmaduke said:

    If this doesn’t remind ya of growing up in a peat bog, I dont know what does. Would you happen to have a marmalade recipe for me?

  5. Queen Mother said:

    Nice job, Spice. Do you know why it’s called SODA bread? I always thought that it had baking soda in it, but your recipe doesn’t have any of that. I particularly liked your advice about being exact with measurements when baking — which is probably the best advice you could give to novices whether they’re baking Irish Soda Bread for St. Patrick’s Day or Sponge Cake for Passover. Happy SPD for now!

  6. Momma said:

    Hey Spice! You make a cross not an X in the bread – Irish, St. Patrick, Catholic and all that – it’s a cross! To answer Queen Mother…most recipes call for baking soda – thus Soda Bread. However, this recipe is from Grandma Gibbons [dearly departed] straight from Ireland. Her recipe called for baking powder which adds a bit of Irish and a neutral reaction with moisture.

    Baking powder contains both an acid and a base and has an overall neutral effect in terms of taste. Recipes that call for baking powder often call for other neutral-tasting ingredients, such as milk. Google for more in-depth explanations.

    Happy St. Pat’s Day to all!

  7. H-E said:

    that bread is H-E

  8. Glen said:

    Come come now! There are no raisins in Irish or Scottish soda bread! 😉

  9. Dolly said:

    That looks SO GOOD! Thank you for the recipe, I am going shopping tonight.

    Floating Cooler

  10. St. Patrick’s Day Ideas « Mommy Hates Cooking said:

    […] I’m looking forward to trying Irish Soda Bread, I have never made this bread or had it before.  It looks easy enough for me to do and looks to be […]

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