Irish Soda Bread

Happy (almost) St. Patrick’s Day!

I’m starting the celebration early by sharing one of my favorite recipes to make (and eat) around this time of year…Irish Soda Bread. Being 75% Irish I’ve grown up eating this recipe and I finally got my hands on it while making it with my grandma last year. It’s something we love year-round, but especially around St. Paddy’s Day. I had the chance to try a few different varieities during my short time studying abroad in Ireland and after more research, her recipe is similar to most of the ones you’ll get from a Google search. Some have caraway seeds, some have raisins, and some are darker in color almost resembeling wheat bread. I’ve gotten her permission to share it with all of you below.

Fun Fact: Irish Soda Bread didn’t originate in Ireland – the American Indians were the first to use soda ash or sodium carbonate in their breads. To get the baking soda or sodium bicarbonate as it is also known that we have today soda ash is mined then refined using carbon dioxide and finally purified. This type of bread gained popularity in Ireland during the time of the potato famine because it was so inexpensive to put on the table. 

Irish Soda Bread


  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 large tablespoon Crisco
  • 1/2 cup raisins (you can use golden or regular)
  • 1 1/3 cups buttermilk (you can also sour the milk with 1 tablespoon white vinegar for the same effect)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda


  1. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes
  2. Mix flour and Crisco together till fine
  3. Add sugar, baking powder, and baking soda
  4. Stir in milk then add raisins
  5. Note: This mixture works best when you use your hands (make sure they are clean and have flour on them so the dough doesn’t stick)
  6. Form dough into bread shape and place on a cookie sheet

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