Irish Soda Bread “American Style”

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This is a sweeter, chewier, lighter and richer version of Traditional Irish Soda Bread. And, in my opinion and experience, seems to be more in harmony with the American taste. The conventional Irish Soda bread simply combines flour, baking soda, salt, and buttermilk; it’s not sweet and has a very dense, somewhat doughy crumb. Most of this version’s sweetness comes from the currants and the crackly-crunchy sugar crust. Of all of the soda breads I have made and tried this, by far, is one of my very favorites.

Bread:

  • 3 cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour (King Arthur is preferred)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup granulated or organic cane sugar
  • 1 cup currants or raisins, or a combination of dried cranberries and raisins; dried blueberries also work well in the combo
  • 1 tablespoon caraway seeds, optional, but recommended to add a kiss of licorice
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 3/4 cups buttermilk*
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted

*No buttermilk? Substitute 1 cup milk + 3/4 cup (one 6-ounce container) plain or vanilla yogurt or simply add 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to 1 ¾ cups of milk.

Topping:

  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 tablespoon coarse white sparkling sugar

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly grease a 9″ x 5″ loaf pan.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar, currants (or combination of berries and raisins), and caraway seeds.
  3. In a separate bowl, or in a measuring cup, whisk together the egg and buttermilk (or milk and yogurt).
  4. Quickly and gently stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.
  5. Stir in the melted butter.
  6. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Draw your finger around the edge of the pan to create a “moat.” Drizzle the bread with the 1 tablespoon of milk; the moat will help prevent the milk from running down the sides of the loaf. Sprinkle with the coarse sugar. The milk helps the sugar adhere to the top and provides a slightly shiny top
  7. Bake the bread for 50 minutes to 1 hour
  8. Remove the bread from the oven, loosen its edges, and after 5 minutes turn it out onto a rack to cool. Cool completely before slicing. Wrap airtight and store at room temperature.
  9. Yield: 1 loaf.
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23 Comments Add yours

  1. Osyth says:

    Mega yum from me! I make ordinary soda bread two or three times a week – sometimes brown, sometimes white it’s a good stalwart for eating with soup at lunch and slathered with butter and jam when we get that rumbly tumbly late afternoon. But this is a different story entirely – it looks absolutely gorgeous and I will certain make a loaf when The Brains gets back from his harsh trip to Hawaii later in the week. Actually – I might make it and eat it all myself in front of him as punishment for not taking me with him!!

    1. haha, Osyth! Yes, wave it in front of him, butter then devour! lol! ♥

      1. Osyth says:

        It will be done!

  2. This looks too good to be true. I love Irish Soda bread, and find it so easy to make, better still, no fear of it never rising 🙂 This is going to be a treat Lana 🙂

    1. A yeast rise can be so intimidating, Lynne! Agreed! One benefit about living in the high desert is “heat” so I normally bake more in summer lol!

  3. Looks great Lana !! ☺️

    1. Thanks so much, Trupti!

  4. Frances 🌺 says:

    Wonderful Lana! Soda bread with all the fruit and seeds, but the hint of liquorice is a Lana- special ingredient 😋

    1. Thank you, Frances! A kiss of licorice is such a pleasant surprise 🙂

  5. Such a wonderful variation. Looks so very tasty! 🙂

    1. Thank you, Ronit! It’s wonderful with a bit of lemon curd too 🙂

  6. Anna says:

    This sounds wonderful, dear Lana!! 🙂

    1. Hello Sweet Anna! Thanks so much, hon!

  7. Wonderful bake ! The currants make it look so gorgeous !

    1. Thank you, Freda! It’s so easy to prepare too 🙂

  8. Antonia says:

    This looks so delicious Lana! Great variation!

    1. Thank you, Antonia! A mix of berries is my favorite 🙂

  9. Gorgeous soda bread, Lana!

    1. Thanks, Kathryn! I made another loaf today for good measure 🙂

  10. Wow this looks so yummy!

    1. I made another loaf today & added chopped toasted pecans…YUM!! Thanks, my dear friend ♥

  11. Lina says:

    Sounds yumm!

    1. Thank you, Lina!

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