This post contains affiliate links, meaning, if you click through and make a purchase or sign up for a program, I may earn small commission. This is at no additional cost to you.
I used to buy fresh Irish soda bread every March at our local co-op. But the past few years I’ve been making it at home. It’s so easy – only 5 ingredients – and SO delicious right out of the oven with a thick layer of homemade cultured European butter. My favorite way to make soda bread is with currants (I make my British scones with them, too) but you can substitute raisins if you prefer. Or make it plain if you don’t like sweet soda bread. It’s delicious all three ways.
Irish soda bread is a quick bread, which means there’s no yeast and you don’t have to let it rise. Instead, buttermilk and baking soda is what causes the bread to rise.
If you don’t want to buy buttermilk (or don’t happen to have any on hand when you’re itching to make Irish Soda bread right now), you can mix 1 tablespoon of lemon juice with 2 cups of fresh milk and let it sit for about 15 minutes.
To get the beautiful round shape and crusty top I bake my bread in my very favorite kitchen tool of all time – my round Le Creuset dutch oven. I invested in one about 5 years ago (Christmas present from my husband) and I LOVE it. Probably even more than my KitchenAid stand mixer (which I’ve had going on 10 years!) because I use my Le Creuset nearly every single day. No joke! I just leave it on my stove at all times because I use it so frequently. It cooks and bakes evenly, washes up easily, and lasts forever.
Tip: get the stainless steel knob instead of the plastic. With the plastic handle you’re limited as to how hot your oven can be. I wish I’d thought about that! Fortunately, it looks like you can a stainless steel replacement knob for under $20! *BRB…off to put in my Amazon order…*
If you’re looking for a great baking gift, check out this Celtic Irish Soda Bread baking dish! This baking dish with a box of Irish soda bread mix would be a welcomed birthday, shower or holiday gift.
See the butter in the photo above? That’s fresh, homemade European cultured butter. It pairs extremely well with this Irish soda bread.
Making homemade butter is super easy – just add buttermilk to heavy cream, let it culture in a jar for 12-36 hours, and then churn it using a mixer. Be sure to make your homemade butter a few days before your soda bread.
Bread and butter…so simple, so good!
If you don’t inhale the entire Irish soda bread loaf the same day you make it, sprinkle a little water on the bread and cover with a tea towel to keep it fresh.
Enjoy the best Irish soda bread ever!
- 4 cups flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup dried currants
- 14 ounces buttermilk
- Sift dry ingredients into a large bowl. Add currants and mix.
- Add the buttermilk and mix with a wooden spoon until it forms a sticky dough.
- Knead lightly on a floured surface until it forms a round loaf. It will start out sticky and crumbly but after you knead it a few times, the dough will come together.
- Shape dough into a round and place in a dutch oven with a lid (or in a cake pan and then use a second cake pan as the lid). Cut two criss-cross slices into the top of the bread with a knife (see photo above).
- Bake covered for 30 minutes at 425F and then 15 minutes uncovered. The bread is done when it sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. Be sure to check your bread; mine wasn't quite done at 45 minutes.
- Let cool on a wire rack, slice, and enjoy with freshly made European cultured butter!
If you don't want to buy buttermilk (or don't happen to have any on hand when you're itching to make Irish Soda bread right now), you can mix 1 tablespoon of lemon juice with 2 cups of fresh milk and let it sit for about 15 minutes.
Based on this recipe.
Be sure to try this delicious (and easy) Cultured European Butter!
Or try this yummy no-bake Irish “Potato” Candy recipe
(No potatoes required – these treats are made with cream cheese, coconut, and cinnamon!!)
-- Disclaimer: The International Desserts Blog is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. Thank you for supporting my site and helping me make it the best international desserts and travel resource on the internet!