Irish Soda Bread for St. Patrick’s Day (or any time of the year)

Although a delicious addition to any St. Patrick’s day celebration, this easy, whole grain Irish soda bread can be baked any time of the year. No yeast, no kneading and no rising necessary so that means fresh baked bread in about 45 minutes. I often double the recipe so I have a loaf to eat right away and one to freeze for later.

Irish Soda Bread


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 2 cups cold buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 cup dried currants or chopped raisins


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine flour, baking soda, sugar, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the butter and mix on low speed until the butter is mixed into the flour. With a fork, lightly beat the buttermilk, egg and orange zest together in a measuring cup. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture. Combine the currants with 1 tablespoon of flour and mix into the dough. The dough will be very wet. Dump the dough onto a well-floured board or counter and knead a few times into a round round loaf. Place the loaf on the prepared baking sheet and lightly cut an X into the top of the bread. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean. When you tap the loaf, it should have a hollow sound. Cool on a baking rack. Makes 1 loaf.

This recipe was adapted from Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa at Home.

Note: The batter will be very wet so you will need extra flour for your hands and board or counter.

Nutrition Note: Slice the loaf into thin slices, wrap in plastic wrap and place slices in a freezer bag. Freeze. This way you can pull out one or two slices to enjoy, without the temptation to eat the entire loaf.

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