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    Homemade Irish Soda Bread Recipe (Brown Bread)

    Published March 17, 2021. This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

    This 6-ingredient traditional Irish soda bread with raisins is bursting with flavor and comes together in under 1 hour.

    A few times a year I get on a bread baking kick and go all out.  If you’re a big bread fan and are looking to try some new things then definitely check out my easy White Bread or Naan recipe.

    loaf of baked irish soda bread with raisins

    Irish Soda Bread

    Irish soda bread is simple to prepare bread that uses baking soda as a leavening agent to help it rise.  It has few ingredients and bakes in under 45 minutes for an incredibly flavorful loaf.  Soda bread typically is very dense and heavy, which will fill you up quickly.

    In Ireland, soda bread is better known as brown bread and uses a combination of whole wheat and unbleached white flour.  You can do a simply 50/50 split between the flours or a 25/75 of whole wheat to white flour, which is what I did.

    In addition to these techniques, it is traditional to add things such as raisins, currants, or caraway seeds.

    What Makes It Different?

    Soda bread is definitely unique in appearance and flavor.  The chemical reaction between the buttermilk and baking soda causes carbon dioxide and produces bubbles in the dough which helps it rise while baking.  Since there is no long-term proofing done on this bread, it will create a dense crumb.

    How to Make Irish Soda Bread

    Follow these simple instructions to make homemade Irish soda bread from scratch:

    Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl.

    whisking together flours in a bowl

    Form a well and pour in the buttermilk.

    pouring milk into a well of flour

    Add an egg to the buttermilk and whisk until completely combined.

    whisking together milk and flour in a bowl

    Pour in the raisins and then gently work the mixture with your hands until completely mixed together to form a dough.

    adding raisins to soda bread batter in a bowl

    Transfer the dough to a clean floured surface and form it into a ball-like shape.

    forming a dough ball from soda bread

    Place the dough onto a cooking sheet tray lined with parchment paper and flatten out the bread slightly.

    pressing down soda bread dough

    Score the bread with two slices forming a cross, sprinkle with sugar, and bake in the oven at 375° for 35-40 minutes and then cool to room temperature before slicing and serving.

    slicing soda bread dough before baking

    Recipe Chef Notes + Tips

    Make-Ahead: You can make this bread up to 1 day ahead of time.

    How to Store: Cover and keep at room temperature for up to 3 days.  You can cover it and keep it in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.  This bread will freeze well covered for up to 3 months.  Thaw it in the refrigerator for 1 day before serving.

    If you do not have buttermilk, you can make it by whisking together 1 tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice with 1 cup of whole milk.

    The bread should reach 195° internally when finished.

    If for some reason your dough is a little dry, add in 1-2 tablespoons of water, or simply wet your hands, while mixing the dough together.

    baked brown bread with raisins

    More Bread Recipes

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    Let's Cook - Chef Billy Parisi

    Video

    Homemade Irish Soda Bread Recipe (Brown Bread)

    5 from 3 votes
    This 6-ingredient traditional Irish soda bread with raisins is bursting with flavor and comes together in under 1 hour.
    Servings: 8
    Prep Time: 5 minutes
    Cook Time: 40 minutes

    Ingredients 

    • 3 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 cup whole wheat flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 teaspoon sea salt
    • 2 cups buttermilk
    • 1 egg
    • ¾ cup raisins

    Instructions

    • Preheat the oven to 400°.
    • In a large bowl sift together the flours, baking soda, and sea salt, and then whisk until combined.
    • Form a well and add in the buttermilk and egg and whisk until the egg is mixed into the buttermilk.
    • Pour in the raisins and then using your hands mix all of the ingredients together to form a dough.
    • Transfer the dough to a clean surface dusted with flour and form it into a ball.
    • Place the dough onto a cookie sheet tray lined with parchment paper and slightly flatten it, so that it’s about 2” to 3” thick.
    • Using a knife make two slices about ¾” deep forming a cross.
    • If you want, you can sprinkle on 1-2 tablespoons of turbinado or coarse sugar at this stage.
    • Bake at 400° for 35-40 minutes or until browned on top and cooked in the center.
    • Cool to room temperature before slicing and serving.

    Notes

    Chef Notes:
    • Make-Ahead: You can make this bread up to 1 day ahead of time.
     
    • How to Store: Cover and keep at room temperature for up to 3 days. You can cover it and keep it in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. This bread will freeze well covered for up to 3 months. Thaw it in the refrigerator for 1 day before serving.
     
    • If you do not have buttermilk, you can make it by whisking together 1 tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice with 1 cup of whole milk.
     
    • The bread should reach 195° internally when finished.
     
    • If for some reason your dough is a little dry, add in 1-2 tablespoons of water, or simply wet your hands, while mixing the dough together.

    Nutrition

    Calories: 307kcalCarbohydrates: 60gProtein: 10gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 27mgSodium: 503mgPotassium: 305mgFiber: 4gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 130IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 88mgIron: 3mg
    Course: bread, Side Dish
    Cuisine: english, irish, scottish