Irish Soda Bread

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This is a recipe from my days at the New York Daily News. It was one of our most popular recipes, requested year after year.

Makes one loaf, serves 6-8

Irish Soda Bread  

  • 2 cups unsifted all-purpose flour (measure by spooning flour into a measuring cup and leveling off)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons caraway seeds
  • 3 tablespoons butter or solid white shortening
  • 1 cup buttermilk or sour milk
  • 2/3 cup raisins, dark or golden, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon 

 Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease an 8- or 9-inch round layer pan.

 In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and 3 tablespoons of the sugar. Stir to mix.

 Add the butter or shortening and cut into the flour mixture with 2 knives or a pastry blender, until the fat is in fine pieces.

 Make a well in center of the flour mixture. Pour in the buttermilk and add raisins. Mix lightly.

 Turn out onto a lightly floured board and knead gently a few times. Shape into a 5-inch round loaf and place in prepared pan.

 Using a sharp knife or scissors, cut dough crosswise into quarters, about 1/3 of the way through. Brush top surface with melted butter and sprinkle with the remaining tablespoon of sugar mixed with the cinnamon.

 Bake in the preheated 375-degree oven for 35 to 45 minutes until golden brown. 

 Note: For better nutrition and good taste appeal stir in 2 tablespoons wheat germ or 2 tablespoons rolled oats with the flour.



  • Arthur Schwartz

    About Arthur: The New York Times Magazine called Arthur Schwartz “a walking Google of food and restaurant knowledge.” As the restaurant critic and executive food editor of the New York Daily News, which he was for 18 years, he was called The Schwartz Who Ate New York. Nowadays, he is best known as The Food Maven, the name of his website. Whatever the sobriquet, he is acknowledged as one of the country’s foremost experts on food, cooking, culinary history, restaurants, and restaurant history. Visit Arthur At:

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