Grandma Dolores' Irish Soda Bread

"I got this recipe from my grandmother, who is part Irish. I have always loved this soda bread recipe and make it every year for St. Patrick's Day. Even though the seeds are listed as optional, I consider them a key flavor. If you can't find them, it will taste be tasty bread, but I much prefer the caraway flavor in there."
photo by HeatherFeather photo by HeatherFeather
photo by HeatherFeather
photo by HeatherFeather photo by HeatherFeather
Ready In:
8-10 slices




  • Place lemon juice into the bottom of a glass measuring cup and pour in enough milk to fill to the 1 cup mark-Do not stir!
  • Leave milk on your counter for 1 hour- during this time, measure out all of your other ingredients, but wait to set out the butter until the last 15 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 350F and grease a round cake pan or pie plate.
  • Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, sugar, and salt.
  • Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut in the butter chunks until evenly mixed in and mixture looks grainy.
  • Stir in dried fruits and caraway seeds.
  • Pour the milk mixture into the bowl and stir with a wooden spoon until all ingredients are moistened- don't overmix.
  • Dough will still be tacky at this point but will pick up more flour while kneading.
  • Sprinkle some flour onto a flat surface and scape dough onto the floured surface; flour your hands and knead the dough gently until it forms a ball- no more than 2 minutes or you will toughen the dough, and it may be less than that depending upon the humidity of the day.
  • (As long as it forms a ball, it can still be little sticky- this is different from yeast bread.) Place dough ball into prepared pan and flatten slightly into a thick disk.
  • Using a serrated knife, make a deep cross in the surface of the bread.
  • Bake until golden brown and until bread sounds hollow on the bottom when rapped, about 35-45 minutes.

Questions & Replies

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  1. Unknown Chef6
    Fantastic recipe! I made it exactly as presented except didn't have currents/caraway seeds so used ~1/2 cup raisins. Delicious...every other recipe I've tried for Irish Soda Bread has been crumbly and dry, this was moist, crispy crust, beautiful color. Pouring the milk over the lemon juice resulted in a thick smooth result, gave bread a tangy flavor. Cannot say enough about your Grandma's recipe, absolutely perfect! Will make again and again, thanks so much! Served with Irish Stew...mmm....
  2. Pamplemoussee
    I love this bread. I'd never had soda bread, but wanted to make something "Irish" for St. Patrick's Day this year. I used this recipe because I didn't have buttermilk. I wonder how it would be with buttermilk, though. I didn't use the raisins or caraway seeds, but it was still delicious.
  3. ChristinaCarlsen
  4. WeBees
    I love soda bread and it's so simple. This is very close to my husband's grandmothers traditional Irish soda bread. I make half with and half without the raisins, currants and caraway seeds because my husband doesn't think it's authentic with (from his childhood anyways).
  5. MC Baker
    This was delicious bread. I used whole wheat flour and soy milk instead, as well as an extra tbsp butter and 1/4 cup raisins. I used golden raisins because I prefer the flavor. The bread was delicious, though a bit crumbly for me. Some other recipes I've seen use an egg, so I think I'll use an egg next time. I added approximately 1/4 cup of flour during the final needing step, which may have contributed to the texture I got. I've never had or made Irish Soda Bread before though, so admittedly I don't know what would be considered "right". Thanks so much for the recipe!



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