Irish Soda Bread: Many Ways

irish soda

With St. Patrick’s Day just around the corner and bread on my mind, I thought I’d look around for an interesting Irish Soda Bread recipe to try this year. Not as easy as it sounds. There are a lot of varieties of Irish Soda Bread!

Of course, traditionalists insist that real Irish Soda Bread has only 4 ingredients – flour, baking soda, sour milk (buttermilk) and salt. That said though, I believe that variety is the spice of life, so having a variety of recipes to choose from is always a good thing.

I’ve rounded-up some of the wide variety of Irish Soda Bread recipes, with a bit of a description of each. Whatever your St. Patrick’s Day menu is, you’ll be sure to find a bread recipe that will go perfectly with it.

Irish Soda Bread Recipe Round-up

Walnut Fig Soda Bread » (Canadian Living)
A rustic loaf, with half whole wheat flour and half regular white flour, walnuts, dried figs and buttermilk. Would pair beautifully with some great cheeses and a Guinness.

Authentic Irish Soda Bread » (Recipezaar)
The author of this recipe claims this is the Irish Soda Bread you’ll get in Ireland these days. This recipe features plain yogurt instead of buttermilk and uses whole wheat flour and self-rising flour.

Muesli Soda Bread » (MotherLindas)
This recipe claims to have roots with an Irish woman, relayed to the author on a plane trip. It uses muesli, buttermilk or yogurt and whole wheat or spelt flour. Sounds like a very healthy version that would pair nicely with an Irish stew.

Irish Freckle Bread » (Boston Globe)
I just love the name! This recipe feature a lot of extra goodies – raisins, currants, prunes and dates – along with whole wheat flour. No buttermilk or yogurt in this one but it does have a cup of strong tea. I think it sounds perfectly suited to consume with tea, as well!

Irish Soda Bread » (Simply Recipes)
Elise’s version of Irish Soda Bread looks lovely and includes raisins, an egg and buttermilk. It is baked up in a cast iron skillet and makes a lovely presentation.

Raisin Caraway Soda Bread » (Emeril Lagasse)
Obviously this bread has raisins and caraway seeds, but it also features molasses, heavy cream in addition to buttermilk and a bit of oatmeal. Sounds like the perfect modern take on a classic.

Whole Wheat Irish Soda Bread » (
This is a very traditional recipe, with the classic four ingredients, featuring half whole wheat and half white flour. Would be a traditional choice alongside an Irish Stew.

Irresistible Irish Soda Bread » (AllRecipes)
This recipe is one of the cakier breads, having eggs, sugar and butter along with the flour and buttermilk. The photo shows raisins in the bread but the ingredient list doesn’t list them. I guess it’s up to your taste to add them or not. I think they’d be a lovely addition to this one, given the cake-y ingredients. This one bakes up in a loaf pan.

Amazingly Easy Irish Soda Bread » (AllRecipes)
This recipe includes some standard ingredients and does require a bit of kneading (despite the “amazingly easy” title). It bakes up free-form on a baking sheet. Sounds like it makes a biscuit-like bread so would be perfect with dinner.

Irish Soda Bread » (Gourmet Magazine)
This traditional recipe features raisings/currants and caraway seeds, as well as buttermilk. No sugar added to this loaf so an excellent choice with dinner. Reviews describe it as easy and tasty and some suggest soaking the raisins in whiskey instead of water.

Irish Soda Bread with Raisins » (Bon Apetitit)
This is one of the highest-rated Irish Soda Bread recipes on Epicurious, with 87 reviews and 99% of the reviewers saying they would make it again. Would be a good choice for a first-time Irish Soda Bread experience as it seems to be both easy and tasty.

Brown Soda Bread » (Bon Apetit)
This is a hearty Soda Bread with a lot of fibre, featuring whole wheat flour, toasted wheat germ and wheat bran, as well as oats. Great reviews on this one for anyone looking for a brown soda bread.

Mini Walnut Soda Bread »
(Bon Apetit)
This recipe makes a mini-bread (or roll, if you like) that would be perfect with dinner or with some cheese and wine or beer. Features walnuts, molasses and 2/3 whole wheat flour, in addition to buttermilk and an egg. A bit of added brown sugar gives a bit of sweetness.

Oatmeal Walnut Soda Bread » (Boston Globe)
Along with the usual ingredients, this recipe feature over 2 cups of rolled oats, for a bit different take on the normal.

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  1. Thanks for this! I love soda bread, and having all these versions available appeals to my fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants style I cook with at times! And, I like that you have an ad for the new Indigo Girls album on your page (:>)

  2. You’re welcome, France. I love to try different breads, so it’s a handy reference for me, as well!

  3. Wow. What a handy post. The best of soda bread all in one place. Thanks for sharing!

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