My mother-in-law was born in Ireland and this is her recipe, which was only shared with the family. My husband would make 20 loaves for St. Patrick's Day to give to friends but he would never give the recipe. When asked for it, he would make the person a loaf and tell them that the recipe was a secret. Now that both he and his mother have passed, I think she would like to share it. I make 4 loaves each year for our church bake sale. They sell for $17.00 each and people come to the early mass just to get one.

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Recipe Summary

prep:
15 mins
cook:
1 hr
total:
1 hr 15 mins
Servings:
16
Yield:
1 9-inch loaf
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Ingredients

16
Original recipe yields 16 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9-inch cast iron skillet.

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  • Pour hot water over raisins and currants in a bowl and let soak. Whisk flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda in a separate bowl until well combined; whisk in buttermilk.

  • Drain raisins and currants and pat dry with paper towels; fold into dough. Turn dough out onto a floured work surface and knead gently until it holds its shape; if dough is too sticky, knead in more flour. Form into a round and place into prepared cast iron skillet. Use a sharp knife to cut a cross into the top of the loaf.

  • Bake in the preheated oven until golden brown and a slender knife inserted into the loaf comes out clean, about 1 hour.

Cook's Note:

You may use 2 cups of raisins instead of currants. If you sour your own milk, use a little less. Just pour it in gradually.

Nutrition Facts

225 calories; protein 4.8g 10% DV; carbohydrates 51.5g 17% DV; fat 0.6g 1% DV; cholesterol 1.1mg; sodium 399.8mg 16% DV. Full Nutrition

Reviews (13)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
03/17/2016
Fantastic! I used 1 cup of dark raisins and 1 cup of golden raisins (no currants). This was so quick and easy to put together and baked up beautifully (the house smelled amazing)! I do not have a 9 inch cast iron skillet, so I used a 9 inch cake pan...worked perfectly. We couldn't even wait for it to cool completely before cutting into it...absolutely delicious! This will be my go-to Irish soda bread from now on~YUM!!!!! Thanks for sharing. :) Read More
(7)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
03/18/2020
I couldn't find red currants so I used black currants. There are way too many raisins and currants. I would suggest using half as many. Also, the one cup of sugar makes it more of a cake than bread. It is a sweet, "heavy" bread. I won't make this again. Read More
14 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 11
  • 4 star values: 1
  • 3 star values: 1
  • 2 star values: 1
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
03/17/2016
Fantastic! I used 1 cup of dark raisins and 1 cup of golden raisins (no currants). This was so quick and easy to put together and baked up beautifully (the house smelled amazing)! I do not have a 9 inch cast iron skillet, so I used a 9 inch cake pan...worked perfectly. We couldn't even wait for it to cool completely before cutting into it...absolutely delicious! This will be my go-to Irish soda bread from now on~YUM!!!!! Thanks for sharing. :) Read More
(7)
Rating: 3 stars
03/18/2020
I couldn't find red currants so I used black currants. There are way too many raisins and currants. I would suggest using half as many. Also, the one cup of sugar makes it more of a cake than bread. It is a sweet, "heavy" bread. I won't make this again. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
03/18/2020
The dough was so gooey that I added another cup of flour after adding the raisins and currants. It baked a full hour on a buttered cast iron pan. The following morning (St. Patrick’s Day, 2020) we enjoyed the tastiest, most wonderfully textured Irish soda bread I’ve ever eaten. My husband likes it toasted in the oven with some organic earth balance spread, but I also like it sliced fresh with nothing on it. Read More
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Rating: 5 stars
05/27/2020
I ALWAYS make changes! LOL I subbed cranberries for the currants and used 2 c. AP. 1 c. high gluten and 1c. whole wheat flour. I cut the sugar down a bit and plan to use only 1/2 c if I make it again. (I tend to "lose" recipes and find another when I want to make something again) The only buttermilk I could find was full fat which I have never used. It was really thick! I added a bit of whole milk to be able to mix in all the flour. It was great, and probably would have been good if I had followed the recipe too. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
03/17/2018
I have never posted a review but had to this time. I always buy my soda bread but decided to make it at home. Followed the recipe to the letter. The best irish soda bread ever. Thanks for a great recipe. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
03/06/2017
Thank you for sharing your family recipe--it was absolutely delicious and I loved the simplicity. I made it with what I had on hand cranberries and walnuts. Spectacular! Read More
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Rating: 5 stars
09/17/2017
This is the best Irish soda bread I have ever tasted. It was so easy to make. My husband even loved it & that is saying a lot because he is very critical of new recipes. Thanks for sharing!! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
03/16/2019
This Irish Bread recipe will now be my go-to recipe! I have tried several others and none compare to this one! The only difference is I did not use the dried currants and I used golden raisins instead of regular ones. I would like to try it with caraway seeds next time. This bread stays together and is not crumby at all! This bread is a tad sweet and FABULOUS!!! Read More
Rating: 2 stars
04/18/2019
The only change I made was adding dried cranberries instead of raisins. It was denese and dry. Will not make it again. Will go back to my old recipe Read More