Irish Soda Bread


Irish Soda Bread

Have you ever had soda bread? This recipe comes to us from our beloved photo stylist, Joy Howard, and it’s a little bit like a biscuit: tender and crusty and best fresh out of the oven. It gets its name from baking soda, which is used instead of yeast to make the bread rise. This would make a nice teacher gift, and it would also make a great holiday-morning breakfast at home.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour

kitchen gear

  • Measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Rimmed baking sheet
  • Large bowl
  • Sharp knife (adult needed)
  • Wooden spoon
  • Pot holders


  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • Grated zest of orange (if you like)
  • 1/2 cup raisins (if you like)
  • 1 tablespoon caraway seeds (if you like)
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk or yogurt


  • Turn the oven on and set the heat to 425 degrees. Use the oil to grease the baking sheet.
  • Put both flours, the salt, and baking soda in the bowl.
  • Add the orange zest, raisins, and caraway seeds (if using).
  • Add the buttermilk and mix until combined.
  • Form the dough into a ball, place it on the prepared baking sheet, and flatten it down a bit. Using the tip of a sharp knife, make an X in the top.
  • Once the oven temperature has reached 425 degrees, put the bread in the oven and bake until the bottom sounds hollow when tapped and the top is golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes.
  • Using pot holders, take the bread out of the oven. Serve right away.



If you’d like to make smaller loaves for eating or gifting, divide the dough into six balls, then shape and cut as directed in step 5. Bake until golden brown, 20 to 22 minutes.
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