irish soda bread!

procrastinating: taking the cat outside

prep time: 15 minutes

cook time: 45-50 minutes

cleanup time: 10 minutes

time spent procrastibaking: ~ 75 minutes

Éirinn go brách, procrastibakers! it’s one of my favorite weeks– st. patrick’s week– and naturally, it’s gorgeous out. the sun is shining, the air is losing its wintery bite, and spring is just around the corner. and no one is as astutely aware of the nice weather as our cat, anna. every time i’m near the front door, she runs over, stands on her hind legs, and meows at me to try and go outside. all in due time, anna. going outside means putting on shoes, and non-pajama-like clothes, and i have to build up the energy to do all that.

the other tell-tale sign that it’s st. patrick’s week (yes, week, not DAY), is that i have the grocery list to prove it. corned beef, potatoes, cabbage, and naturally, irish soda bread. i could just pick up a loaf while at the store, but they’re never as perfect as you’d like– maybe no raisins, maybe too many caraway seeds, maybe too dense… i mean, if you ask me, there’s no such thing as bad irish soda bread, but i think i can do a better job on my own.

i’m not sure if either one of my irish grandmothers have a soda bread recipe, so mine’s just an amalgamation of “hmm, this seems like a good idea” and “this sounds right.” i think regardless of the turnout, they’re proud of me, but personally, i think we have a winner. note to my friends in ireland: this may not be traditional soda bread, but irish-american cuisine certainly has its place as well–so put on your shamrocks, procrastibakers, and let’s get goin!


  1. 4 cups all-purpose flour
  2. 4 tablespoons sugar
  3. 1 tablespoon baking powder
  4. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  5. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  6. 1/2 cup butter, softened
  7. 8 oz raisins (may i suggest these ones, which i found in the baking aisle, designed especially for baking– they’re plumper and more moist than boxed raisins which is great! alternatively, you can soak your raisins in a bowl of water for 12 hours or overnight which will plumpen them back up. but this baggie is a great alternative if you can find it)
  8. liberal sprinkling of caraway seeds– i’d estimate probably 2 tablespoons
  9. 1 cup buttermilk (you can alternate one cup regular milk and one tablespoon lemon juice for the same effect! miraculous!)
  10. 1 egg (which, incidentally, i forgot to add in my recipe… and though my bread doesn’t clump so nicely when you slice it, still delicious)
  11. 1/4 cup buttermilk, set aside
  12. mixing bowl
  13. measuring cups
  14. baking sheet and non-stick spray
  15. large knife

step one. preheat your oven to 375, and grease a non-stick baking pan with pam or butter.

step two.

blend your first six ingredients together (flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and butter) until the mixture makes a fine crumbly blend. for those of you who are fans of procrastibake on facebook, you've heard about my new mixer-- thank you, boyfriend! ❤

step three.

add your buttermilk and egg, and blend until the batter is moistened. then add your raisins and caraway seeds, and mix again until they're well-distributed throughout the dough.

step four.

remove the dough from the bowl, and manipulate until it's a nice, rounded shape. place it on the pan, and cover the entire top with buttermilk (i used my fingers to dab it on, but a food-safe brush would be good as well) so it gets a nice brown color. using the knife, slice an "X" into the top; this will make it look all crusty and delicious when it's done.

step five.

bake for 45-50 minutes, or until the bread is golden brown and a knife inserted through the tallest part of the bread comes out clean. slice and serve with a dab of butter on top-- makes great toast in the morning, too! happy st. patty's day!



Filed under 1 Hour Recipe, other goodies

3 responses to “irish soda bread!

  1. Procrastibaking


  2. Boo

    Raisins?! In SODA BREAD?!?! Madness… But madness I may have to try!!

    My Irish postdoc bequeathed to me the most wonderful sodabread recipe. Half wholemeal and half with spelt – it’s gorgeous!

    • sounds fabulous!! like i said– mine’s only an irish-american (emphasis: american) version, and i know raisins in soda bread might be sacrilegious to some. but to paraphrase homer simpson, i think it’s sacri-licious. 🙂

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