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Three Ultimate Soda Bread Recipes

Soda Bread - Out of the Oven

My most popular Soda Bread

Soda bread is one of the things that makes me think of St. Patrick’s day, but I love a warm homemade soda bread recipe any time of year. So, why do they call it soda bread? Soda bread is a simple bread recipe that uses baking soda to provide leavening instead of the yeast called for in most bread recipes. I’ve tweaked this recipe a bit and wanted to make sure you have it for St. Pat’s Day. Yum!



Soda Bread - Sliced
Soda Bread – Sliced

This is the most moist and best tasting soda bread I’ve ever made.  Always gets rave reviews.

It would be perfect alongside a simple Irish stew for St. Patrick’s Day.  

2 cups all purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 tablespoons sugar

1 stick butter, softened

3/4 cup  dried cherries, raisins or currants (I used half cherries and half currants)

1 cup sour cream (I used regular sour cream)

Melted butter for brushing on bread, about 2 tablespoons

Soda Bread - Turbinado Sugar Crystals
Soda Bread – Turbinado Sugar Crystals

Turbinado sugar for sprinkling on top (opt but good)

Preheat oven to 375. I mix mine in the food processor. Just be careful not to overmix.

Mix flour, soda, salt, sugar and butter until mixture is crumbly.  Add fruit and toss well. This helps the fruit stay suspended in the bread and not sink to the bottom. Blend in sour cream. Form into mound-shaped circle, about 6 inches wide and 2” tall. Bless the dough to let the devils out (or do you bless it to keep them out?!!. Place on parchment lined (spray the parchment) cookie sheet. Brush or drizzle with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake 40-50 minutes on middle rack. When toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, it’s done.

Soda Bread Tips from Rita’s kitchen:

  • Substitute regular Greek yogurt for the sour cream.
  • Use a food processor or mixer to make bread but be careful not to over mix.
  • If you make it by hand, cut the butter into small pieces so it’s easier to incorporate.
  • Turbinado is golden in color and is natural. If you don’t have it, just use regular
  • Use milk instead of butter for brushing on top. This gives a crisper crust (I usually use butter)


Tips from Rita’s kitchen:
Soda Bread - Dry Ingredients
Soda Bread – Dry Ingredients – make indentations for additional “white” ingredients, like baking soda, salt, etc. and that way if you’re called away or forget what you added, you can tell right away if the indentation is filled.
Soda Bread - Ready to Form
Soda Bread – Ready to Form


Soda Bread - Cross and Drizzled with Butter
Soda Bread – Cross and Drizzled with Butter






SIMPLE SODA BREAD This is a dense, country type bread, best eaten the day it’s made.

3 cups self-rising flour

1-3  tablespoons sugar or honey (optional but good)

12 oz beer (your favorite)

2 generous tablespoons melted butter

Preheat oven 350°. Butter a 9×5 inch loaf pan. Whisk flour and sugar together. Make a well in the center. Pour in beer (if using honey, mix with beer first). Blend well but don’t overdo. Mixture will be lumpy. Pour into pan, drizzle with butter and and bake 45-55 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Serve with more butter.


Tip from Rita’s kitchen:

To make 1 cup of self-rising flour:

Mix together:

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

  • To lower the fat (though it’s not that much) sub cooking spray for butter. It will help brown the bread.

Simple Soda Bread baked in Le Creuset stoneware


Annie’s soda bread

Annie Mitchell Egan is my colleague at Sacred Heart Radio. Each weekday she and Matt Swaim host this 3 hour show on Catholic living. It’s always a lively show. On Thursday mornings, I pick a food or herb or Saint from the Bible and talk about that. I also share a recipe geared to the subject. This Thursday we’ll be chatting about St. Patrick. Check out The Catholic Beat for some fun facts and loses about this Saint. I wanted Annie to share her family’s recipe for soda bred. Annie says: “This isn’t a recipe that my mom made up herself, but this is what we Brookbank gals use to make soda bread”. Perfect for St. Patrick’s Day!

4 cups unsifted all purpose flour

1 tsp salt

3 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup butter (I usually use less because I can’t handle the calories!!)

2 cups raisins

1 egg

1 3/4 cup buttermilk


Combine the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and sugar.  Cut in the butter until crumbly. Add the raisins.


Beat the egg slightly and combine with the buttermilk, then add to the dry ingredients and stir until it’s all blended together.


Knead on a floured board until smooth. You’ll probably have to add extra flour to the dough as you go along, and don’t get concerned if you end up adding a lot – just make sure it’s not sticky when you’re done.


Divide the dough at least in half for two loaves.  I like to make multiple small loaves that I bake in small oven-safe bowls and big coffee mugs – you could even do muffins tins!  Anyway, shape them into round loaves, and put them in whatever pan is appropriate for the size you’ve made.  I usually spray the pans/bowls/cups/etc with some cooking spray beforehand.  Take a sharp knife and cut a big cross in the top. (This is to ward off the devils and protect the home).


Bake at 375 for 35 to 40 minutes.  I always do the knife check to make sure they have cooked all the way through.


Permanent link to this article: http://abouteating.com/annie/

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