Traditional Irish Soda Bread

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Traditional Irish Soda Bread


  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons grated orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 1/4 cup butter softened
  • 1 cup dried currants or golden raisins
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups buttermilk or sour milk at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup of honey
  • 1 egg beaten with 2 tablespoons milk for glaze


  • 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
    2. In a large bowl, sift and combine flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Add salt, orange zest, and caraway seeds.
    3. Use a pastry cutter or fingers, cut in or blend butter into flour mixture until the dough resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the currants or raisins. Set aside.
    4. In a medium bowl, combine honey with 1 1/2 cups buttermilk.
    5. Stir into flour mixture until dry ingredients are moistened. Turn out onto a floured surface (dough will be sticky).
    6. Knead, 1 minute. Cut dough in half. Shape each piece into a round loaf. Place on a greased and flour-dusted baking sheet. Dip a sharp knife into flour and cut across 1/2 inch deep, across top of each loaf.
    7. Brush loaves with egg-and-milk glaze. Let stand for 10 minutes before baking. Bake in preheated oven, 35-40 minutes. To test for doneness, turn the bread over and tap underneath. If the bread sounds hollow, it is fully cooked. Let cool on racks before slicing. Slice thin or cut in wedges.

    This recipe is from the book Elegant Irish Cooking by By Noel C. Cullen, Ed.D., CMC, AAC

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