The Ultimate Irish Soda Bread Recipe for Home Bakers

Welcome, food enthusiasts! As a chef specializing in British cuisine, I am excited to bring you one of my favorite recipes – Brian Brophy’s Irish Soda Bread recipe. This recipe has been passed down in my family for generations, and it continues to be a staple on our dinner tables.

Soda bread is a traditional Irish bread that has become a popular dish around the world. For those looking for an alternative to yeast bread, soda bread provides a quick and easy solution. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned baker, this recipe is perfect for anyone who wants to try their hand at baking delicious bread.

This recipe calls for basic ingredients that can be easily found in your local grocery store. The combination of unsifted flour, buttermilk, and baking soda creates a texture that is moist, soft and irresistible. The addition of caraway seeds and raisins adds a unique blend of sweetness and crunch to the flavor profile.

So what are you waiting for? Get ready to roll up your sleeves and embark on an amazing culinary journey! Whether you’re making this bread for St. Patrick’s Day or just because it’s delicious – this recipe will not disappoint. Let’s get started!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Brian Brophy's Irish Soda Bread
Brian Brophy’s Irish Soda Bread

Welcome, my fellow foodies! Today, I am excited to introduce you to Brian Brophy’s Irish Soda Bread recipe. I guarantee you’ll fall in love with this recipe as much as I have.

Now, you might be wondering, “What makes Brian Brophy’s Irish Soda Bread so special?” Well, let me tell you. It’s the perfect blend of sweet and savory flavors that will leave you licking your fingers. The plump raisins give it a hint of sweetness while the caraway seeds add an earthy taste to this traditional soda bread.

But that’s not all! This recipe is incredibly easy to follow, even for novice bakers. You don’t need any fancy equipment or special ingredients – just four cups of unsifted flour, baking soda, baking powder, sugar, butter, buttermilk and eggs. And voila! Your delicious Irish soda bread is ready to go within an hour.

If you’re someone who loves experimenting with different flavors and textures in your baking adventures, then this recipe is definitely for you. You can even try adding your own twist by substituting raisins with cranberries or using whole wheat flour instead of regular all-purpose flour.

So there you have it folks – Brian Brophy’s Irish Soda Bread is a crowd-pleaser that will leave your taste buds dancing in delight. Don’t wait any longer and give this fantastic recipe a try today!

Ingredient List

Sure, here are 11 unique photo captions for the recipe:
Sure, here are 11 unique photo captions for the recipe:

Let’s take a closer look at the ingredients you will need to make Brian Brophy’s traditional Irish soda bread. This recipe calls for simple, pantry-staple ingredients that together, create a beautifully dense bread that is perfect for any occasion.

  • 4 cups unsifted flour
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup of unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup raisins (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon caraway seed (optional)

The balance between the dry ingredients and wet ingredients are crucial for a successful soda bread, so try to measure them accurately. The unsifted flour is used to give the bread its characteristic dense crumb while the buttermilk reacts with the baking soda so that the loaf rises during baking. The eggs help moisten the dough and give it structure, while butter and sugar help to add flavor and moisture. If you want some extra texture and flavor, you can toss in raisins or caraway seeds as Brian recommends.

The Recipe How-To

Preparing the Ingredients

Before starting with the recipe, preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C) and grease a baking sheet.

Next, fetch your ingredients in your kitchen:

  • 4 cups of unsifted flour
  • 1⁄4 cup of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon of baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
  • 2 cups of buttermilk
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup of melted butter
  • Optional: 1 tablespoon caraway seeds and raisins for flavor

Mixing the Batter

Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a large mixing bowl. Create a well in the center.

Then, pour in buttermilk and beaten eggs into the well. Add melted butter and stir until everything is blended well. Get an optional mix-in such as caraway seeds and raisins to add more flavor.

Forming the Dough

Use your hands to form a soft dough by blending outer portions with moist center portions until all the dry ingredients are moistened. Continue to knead and mix until the dough becomes semi-smooth.

Now, place the dough on a lightly floured surface and shape it cleanly into a round loaf around two inches high.


Gently transfer your shaped dough into your greased baking sheet.

Put it in your preheated oven to bake for about fifty to sixty minutes or an hour; start at fifty minutes and insert a toothpick into the center to check if it’s done. The bread should have nice light brown crust with an internal temperature reading at around 190°F (88°C).

Let it cool for fifteen minutes before slicing it up and serving!

Substitutions and Variations

 A warm Irish welcome from my kitchen to yours!
A warm Irish welcome from my kitchen to yours!

Are you looking to mix things up a bit? There are plenty of substitutions and variations you can make to this classic Irish soda bread recipe.

First, let’s talk about the traditional soda bread. This recipe follows the classic method with caraway seeds and raisins. However, if you’re not a fan of those add-ins, feel free to leave them out for a plain loaf. You can also swap in other dried fruits like chopped apricots or cranberries.

Buttermilk is a crucial ingredient in this recipe, as it reacts with the baking soda to create that distinct texture and flavor. If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, you can make your own by adding a tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice to regular milk and letting it sit for a few minutes before using. You could also substitute yogurt or sour cream in a pinch.

For a lighter version of this bread, you could replace half of the flour with whole wheat flour or use a gluten-free flour blend for those with dietary restrictions.

And why stick to just raisins? Some people prefer savory soda breads with herbs like rosemary or thyme. You could even make a cheesy version by adding grated cheddar or parmesan cheese to the dough.

The possibilities are endless when it comes to variations on this recipe. Don’t be afraid to get creative and find what works best for your taste buds!

Serving and Pairing

 No fancy equipment needed, just good old-fashioned ingredients and a mixing bowl.
No fancy equipment needed, just good old-fashioned ingredients and a mixing bowl.

If you’re looking for a classic Irish or British bread recipe that can stand on its own or be served alongside your favorite savory dish, then look no further than Brian Brophy’s Irish Soda Bread Recipe. This beautifully baked bread is an excellent accompaniment to a stew, soup, or even a salad.

Serve this traditional soda bread warm or at room temperature, sliced thinly, and spread with fresh butter. Alternatively, toast it and spread some of your favorite jam on top for a sweet and fluffy breakfast dish.

As for the pairing, the caraway seeds and raisins used in this recipe make it a versatile bread that goes well with both sweet and savory flavors. You can pair this soda bread with cheeses such as cheddar, brie or goat cheese. To complement the sweetness of the raisins in the bread, serve it with honey-glazed ham or pork loin.

This Irish soda bread is also excellent when served as an appetizer with buttered shrimp or spinach dip. It works perfectly as a side dish for grilled meats like chicken breasts, turkey fillets or lamb chops. Whether you are hosting friends over dinner or just looking to change up your breakfast routine, this traditional Irish soda bread recipe is an excellent choice for any gathering – big or small!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Don't be afraid to get your hands dirty - kneading the dough is a key step to achieving the perfect texture.
Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty – kneading the dough is a key step to achieving the perfect texture.

If you’re planning to serve Brophy’s Irish Soda Bread at your next gathering, we’ve got great news: this bread can be made ahead of time! Allow the loaf to cool completely on a wire rack before wrapping tightly in plastic wrap or foil. Store at room temperature for up to three days.

If you’d like to keep it for longer, consider freezing the bread. Once the loaf has completely cooled, wrap it in a double layer of plastic wrap followed by a layer of foil. To reheat, allow the bread to thaw at room temperature for several hours before warming in a 350°F oven for about 10 minutes.

When reheating individual slices, place them in a toaster or toaster oven until just warmed through. Avoid reheating the bread in the microwave as this can cause it to become rubbery.

One important thing to note is that although this bread can be stored for several days and reheated, it is best enjoyed fresh. To get the most out of your Brophy’s Irish Soda Bread, we recommend serving it warm out of the oven with a pat of butter and your favorite jam or spread.

Tips for Perfect Results

 The aroma of freshly baked bread is unbeatable. Can you smell it yet?
The aroma of freshly baked bread is unbeatable. Can you smell it yet?

Now comes the moment of truth- will your soda bread turn out to be as wonderful as you’d hoped? Well, with these tips, it definitely has a better chance!

1. Make sure your oven is preheated: Soda bread doesn’t need much time in the oven, so it’s crucial that your oven is preheated fully before it goes in. Otherwise, you risk an uneven bake.

2. Don’t overwork the dough: Irish soda bread is all about keeping things simple, and that includes mixing the ingredients together. Once you’ve added the buttermilk to the dry ingredients, just mix gently – no kneading required!

3. Use a light touch: When shaping your dough into a round loaf, be gentle. Don’t press down too hard or compact the dough too much, or you’ll end up with a dense result.

4. Keep an eye on baking times: Check on your bread a few minutes before the suggested time is up – ovens can vary in temperature and some may cook faster than others.

5. Experiment with add-ins: While traditional soda breads stick to caraway seed or raisins, there’s plenty of room for experimentation! Some like their soda bread with a savory twist, adding herbs or cheese to the mix; others prefer brown sugar for a touch of sweetness.

6. Let it cool before slicing: Resist the temptation to cut into your soda bread as soon as it’s out of the oven – give it at least 20 minutes to cool down and set. This will result in easier slicing and less crumbly texture.

7. Spread on butter while warm: There’s nothing quite like eating a slice of freshly baked soda bread spread with soft butter – so go ahead! Spread on that butter while still warm for maximum enjoyment.

By following these tips and putting your own spin on it with add-ins and variations, you’re sure to create a perfect loaf of Irish soda bread to enjoy with family and friends.


Now that you’ve learned how to make Brian Brophy’s delicious Irish soda bread, it’s time to get those frequently asked questions answered. Here are some common queries about this recipe, along with expert tips for baking perfect soda bread every time.

Is there a difference between soda bread and Irish soda bread?

When it comes to making traditional Irish soda bread, it can be quite easy to confuse the American version with the real deal. The distinguishing factor lies in the ingredients you choose to include. Typically, soda breads made in the USA will have caraway seeds and raisins stirred in, whereas the authentic Irish recipe omits these ingredients altogether.

What is the key ingredient in Irish soda bread that makes it different from other breads?

Soda bread’s distinct texture is a byproduct of the interplay between sour milk’s acidity and baking soda, which creates tiny carbon dioxide bubbles in the dough. The traditional shape of soda bread is also deeply rooted in history.

What is traditional Irish soda bread made of?

To make classic Irish soda bread, you will need a few staple ingredients such as flour, baking soda, salt, and buttermilk. The buttermilk’s acidity reacts with baking soda’s base to create the bread’s leavening. This unique leavening process is what ultimately names the bread: soda bread.

Why did my Irish soda bread fall apart?

Achieving the perfect texture for traditional soda bread can be tricky, as using excessive flour and insufficient buttermilk can result in a crumbly consistency. When measuring the flour, it is important to spoon and level it precisely to prevent this from happening.

Bottom Line

in the style of Chip Heath:

In conclusion, Brian Brophy’s Irish Soda Bread Recipe is undoubtedly a must-try for anyone looking to indulge in traditional Irish cuisine. This recipe perfectly captures the essence of the soda breads that have been savored by generations of Irish families.

The combination of unsifted flour, buttermilk, and baking soda makes for an exceptional mixture that yields a deliciously moist and flavorful bread. The addition of raisins and caraway seeds adds an extra layer of richness and texture that elevates the bread to a whole new level.

Whether you are an experienced baker or just starting out, this recipe is easy to follow and will produce fantastic results every time. I definitely recommend trying this recipe with a generous slathering of butter to enhance its rich flavor.

So what are you waiting for? Head to your kitchen and get baking with Brophy’s Irish Soda Bread Recipe. I guarantee it will be a delightful addition to any meal or gathering.

Brian Brophy's Irish Soda Bread

Brian Brophy’s Irish Soda Bread Recipe

This is the very best Irish Soda Bread. The recipe was given to me by my friend, Brian Brophy, with an assist from Mean Chef who gave me the technique for making it light and airy.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Irish
Keyword < 4 Hours, Breads, European, Healthy, Quick Breads, St. Patrick's Day, Weeknight
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Servings 1 loaf
Calories 414.4kcal


  • 4 cups unsifted flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 ounces butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces and left in the refrigerator un use
  • 1/2 lb raisins (Sunmaid for baking are best) (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seed (optional)


  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  • Toss mixture with hands or wire whisk to make it light and airy.
  • Put dry mixture and butter into a food processor and pulse a few times until butter is the size of peas Return to bowl and add raisins and/or caraway seeds if using.
  • Beat eggs in a separate bowl, add buttermilk and blend well.
  • Pour egg mixture, a little at a time, into dry mixture.
  • Blend well with a spoon or spatula.
  • Don't overmix.
  • Dough should be heavy, but not too wet.
  • If too dry, add a little more buttermilk.
  • Dust hands with flour and mold dough into a round.
  • Place dough into a greased 9" round pan.
  • Dust top generously with flour.
  • Cut a deep cross into the dough.
  • This will prevent the bread from cracking, and it looks traditional.
  • Bake at 350°F for one hour, or until well browned and center is not doughy.
  • Cool on rack, and serve warm w/butter and jam.


Serving: 142g | Calories: 414.4kcal | Carbohydrates: 62.8g | Protein: 9.7g | Fat: 13.7g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 78.8mg | Sodium: 298.7mg | Fiber: 1.7g | Sugar: 14.9g

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