Irish Soda Bread

Irish Soda Bread is a traditional bread recipe from Ireland. There are many variations of this delicious recipe from sweet to savory. With a golden brown crust, dense yet crumbly texture and lightly sweetened with raisins, this recipe is sure to be a delightful treat. No kneading or yeast is required, so it can be made on the fly. This recipe can be made with and without raisins, so feel free to omit them from the recipe. Traditional Irish soda breads call for buttermilk, but we’ll show you how to make a buttermilk substitute that can be used whenever it’s called for in a recipe.


  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • 1 tbs baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tbs butter, melted
  • 1 ¾ cup milk
  • ½ lemon
  • 1 ½ – 2 cups raisins 
  • 2 eggs


1. Gather your ingredients, a medium sized bowl, measuring cups and measuring spoons

2. Preheat oven to 350°F

3. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a medium bowl.

4. Mix raisins into dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Raisins are more likely to be evenly distributed in bread mix if added before wet ingredient

5. To prepare sour milk mixture

  • Pour 1 ¾ cup milk into a measuring cup
  • Cut lemon in half and squeeze 1/2 of the lemon into the milk
  • Stir the lemon into the milk and let sit for a minute (Note: Its normal for milk to begin to curdle)

6. Melt butter in microwave safe dish for about 20-30 seconds. Make sure not to over cook otherwise it will splatter.

7. Combine sour milk mixture, melted butter, and eggs to dry mixture.  

8. Butter each pan to prevent dough from sticking. Pour ½ batter into each bread pan

9. Bake for 1 hour (60 mins) until the top is golden brown. Test with toothpick or butter knife to see if the center is cooked thoroughly.


  • Can use buttermilk instead of sour milk mixture if desired
  • Can omit raisins, or substitute with cranberries or dried cherries
  • You can skip the egg if you don’t have any, but the texture will be more crumbly. This will also make the dough more dense and will require kneading
  • You can cut back on the sugar for a more savory flavor

Original Recipe was provided by Tina Hanby, The Food Security Assistant at the Human Services Resource Center.

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