Irish Soda Bread – my St. Patrick’s Day bread

Irish Soda Bread

This is the recipe I always used for St. Patrick’s Day. Usually I make one big round loaf using my largest pyrex bowl from the set of three.

I made two loaves with the full recipe.

This time though I decided to make two smaller loaves so I could share one with my friend Ann Marie, shh, it’s a surprise!

The two loaves cooling, gosh the house smelled wonderful!

After 10 minutes cooling, you can take the bread out of the bowls to finish.

Oh deliciousness!

If you can resist, it tastes best the day after you make it. Let it cool totally, wrap up tightly the RESIST! Well I usually can’t do that…resist that is, so I have a nice slice after dinner with coffee. Well you do have to test it to make sure it’s good enough for everyone right?

Irish Soda Bread – Makes one big loaf or two smaller ones.  Directions also follow for mixing it up for jar mixes.
Preheat oven 375 F and grease your bowl(s).
4 c flour
1/4 c sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 T caraway seeds
1/4 c butter, (1/2 stick) softened
1 c raisins
1 1/3 c buttermilk (or 1 1/3 c milk with 1 T + 1 tsp of vinegar or lemon juice added to the measuring glass first. )
1 egg

1. Put your sifter into or over a bowl then put in it- flour, sugar, salt and baking powder, baking soda, then sift into bowl.

2. Cut in butter with pastry blender until like course crumbs, rub in with fingers if you need to also.

3. Mix in caraway seeds and raisins.

4. Combine the milk, egg and baking soda and mix well. I measure the milk into a large liquid measuring cup then add the other things to it.

5. Stir into the flour mixture, mix with fork first then use bowl scraper or big rubber spatula.

6. Turn dough onto floured surface, I do it right on my counter top. Knead lightly until smooth, really hardly at all, just to form a ball shape, dough will be soft.  Shape into a ball then spray a pyrex bowl (the large one of a set of three) with spray vegetable oil. OR divide dough in two and put each in medium sized bowl.

7. Put dough in and cut a deep cross or X into it with a knife, (to release the fairies!) gently push it apart so it’s slightly open. Take one egg yolk and brush (or use fingers) on top and into cracks.

8. Bake one hour, (for two smaller loaves bake 50 minutes) cool in bowl 10 min. then remove to finish cooling.

This tastes best the next day, if you can resist! Wrap well and store in ziplock bag as you use it up.

Irish Soda Bread Recipe Post Card postcard
Click the picture above to see a glossy recipe post card you can order for your self or send to a friend. (Or put your own favorite recipe and photo on it using my template!)

Full sized loaf of whole wheat soda bread I made another time using this recipe.

** Another version: 1/2 golden raisins, 1/2 regular raisins,  no caraway seeds, 1 1/2 c white whole wheat flour, 2 c regular flour, 1/2 c oatmeal.

** Another version I tried: leave out the raisins and seeds, cut sugar to 1/8 c, use 2 c whole wheat flour, 2 c white whole wheat flour, add a bit more of the baking soda, I added a LOT of Italian seasoning and parsley, some basil this was good, but I also added dried cut up tomato and this was ok, wouldn’t add next time, but mine were quite dry.

** The original recipe has you add the baking soda with the milk and egg, then add it all at once to the dry mixture. I found no difference really by adding it with the dry ingredients, the mix the egg and milk and add. Just have your oven ready because with soda breads and scones you want to get them into the oven right away.

** For putting into jars to mix small loaf when you want it. I love doing this with recipes because I’m only baking for one or two and this way I can make smaller amounts and have it ready quicker!

1. Mix in a big bowl:
4 c flour
1/4 c sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda

Write out instructions on a small paper, tape to the jar.

2. Divide between two (2 c) mason jars, about 2 c + 3-4T each or divide putting some in a jar and some into a bowl to make into bread right away.
3. Put these instructions on the jar (cover the paper with wide clear tape totally and it will last longer): To make put contents into bowl.
4. Cut in 2 T (1/4 stick) softened butter, then rub in till like crumbs.
5. Add 1/2 c raisins + 1 1/2 tsp caraway seeds (if adding these things)
6. Mix 1/2 an egg with 5 1/2 oz OR 1/2c + 3 1/2 T of Buttermilk (or add 2 tsp. vinegar or lemon juice to milk) Mix in with flour with fork then use bowl scraper to get into a dough. Put on floured cupboard and lightly knead into a ball. Put in greased Med. Bowl cut X in top and brush with remaining egg. Bake 375 for 50 min.

I also add the dry ingredients list to make new batches on the back side.

I also put the dry ingredients list on the jar so I can easily make new batches and refill. Try all kinds of variations with your soda bread. Decrease sugar if making a savoury bread for dinner.

Enjoy baking and let me know if you try this bread!

Don’t forget to check out my shop on Zazzle, lots of spring cards and gifts and glossy recipe cards you can send. GO HERE


Sweet Potato Irish Bread


Glorious Golden Irish Sweet Potato Bread!!

I am proud to say this is my very own creation! It’s fantastic; tastes like a sweet bread with the spices and you almost think you’re eating a pumpkin bread, but there’s NO sugar!! You’ll love it just buttered as a snack.

Sweet Potato Irish Bread

1 c regular flour
1 c white whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 medium sweet potato
1/4 c (1/2 stick) cold butter
2 eggs beaten
1/2 c raisins (can use 1/4c reg. raisins 1/4c golden)


white whole wheat flour

Use half regular white flour and half white whole wheat flour.


Mixing the dry ingredients

Sift dry ingredients into a big bowl or just put in bowl and mix very well with a whisk to combine.


boiling the sweet potatoes

Peel, chop up and cook potato in water


mashing with a little of the water

Mash with some of the water when done to look like canned pumpkin consistency, not too watery.


measure potato and add buttermilk

Measure out 1/2 c + 1/3 c and  put into a glass measuring cup then add buttermilk up to 1c.


using the pastry blender

Cut butter into little chunks over the flour mixture, then cut in with a pastry blender a bit.


"rubbing in" the butter

Then use your finger tips to squish the butter bits, keep working with fingers until it’s all just crumbly.


mixing in the wet ingredients

Add egg and potato mixture into flour and mix.


quite sticky!

Add raisins and stir dough vigorously.


using the bowl scraper to mix and knead

You can knead the dough right in the mixing bowl, dust the dough with flour and use a rubber spatula or what I prefer a ‘bowl scraper’ to fold dough over and incorporate flour. Add more as needed until dough is not quite as sticky.


pat into a rounded ball on greased cookie sheet

Grease cookie sheet and gently plop dough on it, make it into a neat, rounded ball.


cut a cross into the top

Cut a cross into top with a sharp little knife.


pat or brush beaten egg on it

Pat top with one beaten egg using fingers (I find this is just quicker and easier!) or a pastry brush, get it into the cross too.

Bake 375  40 minutes

* For regular potato bread you can use regular potato and leave out the spices.

* If you don’t have store bought buttermilk you can make up your own, I almost always have to. 1c milk plus 1 Tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice is the ratio, for this recipe just mix 1/3 c milk with 1 tsp vinegar or lemon juice, it should be enough, make more if needed.

*This bread tastes like a dessert bread or pumpkin bread but has no sugar and uses very healthy sweet potato which is especially good for women! Great taste!

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