100% Whole Wheat Irish Soda Bread

Total Time
Prep 15 mins
Cook 35 mins

I just tried this recipe for the first time, and I immediately wanted to put it online so that I would always be able to find it. It's from La Leche League's cookbook, _Whole Foods for the Whole Family_. Of course a whole wheat bread is always different from a white flour bread, but I was amazed at how well this recipe captures the taste and texture of Irish soda bread. It's dense and crumbly and a bit sweet, and very delicious. It's also quite easy to make. It's a "quick bread" recipe -- no yeast, no rising -- but you shape it into round loaves, and it feels more "bread-y" to me than most quick breads. I can't wait to make it again. Enjoy!

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. In a big mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, soda, and salt.
  2. Cut in butter until it reaches a coarse meal consistency. (I started with two knives, then finished the process with my fingers.).
  3. Add raisins.
  4. Combine liquids separately. Add liquids to dry ingredients.
  5. Mix until a soft dough forms. At some point it will become hard to stir it, and it will be better to use your hands. Kneading the dough is the best way to combine all the ingredients completely -- knead it gently until it is smooth (about 3 minutes). You can knead it right there in the mixing bowl.
  6. Shape the dough into two balls, and place them on a greased cookie sheet. Flatten each ball slightly and cut an X about 1/4" deep in the top of each loaf.
  7. Bake at 375 for 35 minutes.
Most Helpful

Quintessential, Delicious Irish Soda bread! Super Easy to make. I love that this is all whole wheat & not too sweet. Oh, speaking of which, I've just realized I forgot to add the tablespoon of honey! Oh well, because it certainly doesn't need it & it's exactly what I was looking for. This is going to be perfect with stews and hearty Winter recipes. I may even leave the honey out in the future. The raisins add enough balanced sweetness for me. I already found a great sweet Irish soda bread, so for a sweet soda bread, try Cork County Irish Bread.

Gaia22 December 30, 2011

Fast and easy. Made one with the raisins and one without. I think I liked the one without the raisins better. Great texture. Definitely a keeper, thank you.

MtlYogini October 01, 2010

I'm having a St. Patrick's Day dinner party, and wanted to serve Irish Soda Bread - but I've never even tasted it, much less made it, before. So I hopped on 'Zaar to find a recipe. I selected this one to try because it is made with 100% whole wheat flour, and I like using whole wheat flour. Second, this didn't have any added sugar (just the molasses or honey). So I gave it a shot. I followed the recipe as stated, using the honey rather than molasses, except I had to make a couple of substitutions - dried sour cherries instead of raisins or currants (I had dried sour cherries, didn't have the others) & I made a buttermilk substitute from milk & lemon juice (1 cup milk, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, stirred it, let it sit while I mixed the dry ingredients) as I didn't have any buttermilk on hand. This bread tastes fabulous! A little sweet, great texture. I can't say if it tastes like traditional Irish Soda Bread (as I have nothing to compare it to), but I was totally satisfied - surprised even - by how delicious this was! Great recipe! Thanks for sharing! I posted a couple of pictures of my bread so you could "see" what I was talking about.

NELady March 12, 2009