Irish Soda Bread with Raisins and Caraway Seeds

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This Irish Soda Bread is a family favorite. It has a crunchy exterior while the inside is soft and buttery. It’s flavored with fragrant caraway seeds and plump dark raisins. And there’s a slight sweetness.

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Front view of Irish soda bread on a wire rack.

Irish Soda Bread

It’s a good thing this bread is super simple to make because your family will be requesting it all the time after the first bite!

Irish soda bread is a very simple bread made without yeast. The baking soda and buttermilk work together to create leavening, resulting in a soft fluffy interior.

Using a light hand while kneading the dough together is also important for a delicate interior. You don’t want a smooth dough, aim for shaggy dough that is slightly sticky.

Caraway seeds and raisins provide an exquisite flavor profile. This is definitely one of the fancier versions of soda bread I’ve seen.

Overhead view of Irish soda bread on a wire rack.

After attempting my first soda bread, I couldn’t believe how easy it was! It’s seriously the easiest bread I’ve ever made. You only need one bowl and a wooden spoon to make this recipe but a stand mixer makes the process even easier.

I tested this recipe a few different ways: without egg, with less butter, with more raisins… The final result that I’m sharing with you today is the one my family loves! It’s tender and buttery on the inside and the crunchy crust adds a lovely texture contrast.

This Irish soda bread is full of raisins and caraway seeds. I adore the fragrant kick the caraway seeds add. It’s by far my favorite part of the bread. However, if you are not a fan of caraway seeds, feel free to reduce the amount or omit them all together.

The bread is baked in a cast iron pan or on a baking sheet. I’ve found that when using a cast iron, the exterior of the bread will brown quicker than when baking on a regular baking sheet. Because of this, you may need to tent aluminum foil over the bread halfway through baking. This will keep the bread from turning too brown.

Enjoy your soda bread the day it is made! It’s best when eaten fresh and will begin to dry out after a couple days.

How do you eat Irish Soda Bread?

This version of Irish soda bread is best eaten warm with a spread of butter. You can either slice it or simply tear off small chunks of bread. Slather room temperature butter over the warm slice and it will melt into the bread.

Irish soda bread on a wire rack with two slices taken out.

If you’re looking for more delicious bread recipes, try this rosemary olive beer bread or this cheddar jalapeno buttermilk bread.

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This Irish Soda Bread is a family favorite. It has a crunchy exterior while the inside is soft and buttery. It’s flavored with fragrant caraway seeds and plump dark raisins. And there’s a slight sweetness.
5 from 3 votes
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Irish Soda Bread

This Irish Soda Bread is a family favorite. It has a crunchy exterior while the inside is soft and buttery. It’s flavored with fragrant caraway seeds and plump dark raisins. And there’s a slight sweetness.

Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Yields 10 servings
Calories 306 kcal
Author Jen Sobjack

Ingredients

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon caraway seeds
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter cut into cubes
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 and 2/3 cups buttermilk cold
  • 3/4 cup raisins

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Lightly grease a cast iron skillet or line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, sugar, caraway seeds, salt, and baking soda. 

  3. Add the butter and mix on low speed until the butter is mixed into the flour.

  4. In a 2-cup measuring cup, whisk the egg and buttermilk together. With the mixer on low speed, slowly pour the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture.

  5. Add the raisins and mix until combined. The dough will be very wet and sticky.

  6. Turn the dough out onto a well floured surface. With well floured hands, knead the dough a few times and shape it into a ball.

  7. Place the dough on the prepared skillet or baking sheet. Use a sharp knife to lightly cut an X in the top of the bread. 

  8. Bake for 45 to 55 mins, until golden brown. If the top begins to get too brown during baking, tent it loosely with aluminum foil. If using a cast iron skillet, begin checking the bread at 25 minutes.

  9. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

1. If you don't have a stand mixer, cut the butter into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter, fork, or two knives. Then use a wooden spoon to mix in the egg/buttermilk mixture and raisins.

2. A cast iron skillet will cook the bread quicker and may only need 25-35 minutes in the oven.

3. Irish Soda Bread is best on the day it's made. It will begin to dry out after a day or two.

Adapted from Ina Garten.

The calories shown are based on the bread being cut into 10 slices, with 1 serving being 1 slice. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the calories shown are just an estimate.

This Irish Soda Bread is a family favorite for St. Patrick's Day. It's flavored with fragrant caraway seeds and plump dark raisins. #Irish #sodabread #StPatricksDay #StPattysDay #raisins #caraway

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