Freshly Baked Irish Currant Soda Bread – A Hearty Delight!

Welcome, dear reader, to my traditional Irish currant soda bread recipe! I am excited to share with you this age-old recipe passed down from generations of Irish bakers. This recipe is not only a loved staple in many Irish households, but around the world as well.

There is something special about baking bread, especially one that has been a part of so many people’s families for years. A loaf of soda bread fresh out of the oven is like a warm hug on a cold day. The aroma alone can make your mouth water and your heart swell with comfort.

As an experienced chef specializing in British cuisine, I can assure you that this recipe is not only delicious but also easy to make. You will be proud to present your freshly baked Irish soda bread to your family and friends.

So why not transport yourself to the green hills of Ireland by baking this wonderful loaf? Let’s start with the ingredients you will need for this traditional Irish currant soda bread recipe.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Traditional Irish Currant Soda Bread
Traditional Irish Currant Soda Bread

My dear friends, let me tell you about a recipe that will make your taste buds dance with joy – the Traditional Irish Currant Soda Bread recipe. Why should you choose this recipe, you may ask? Well, let me share a few reasons with you.

First of all, this soda bread recipe is an absolute delight to make. It is fuss-free and requires only a handful of simple ingredients that you likely already have in your pantry. So, even if you’re not the most confident baker, fear not – this recipe will have you feeling like a pro in no time.

But most importantly, this bread is downright delicious! The addition of sweet currants perfectly balances out the tangy buttermilk and the faint sweetness of sugar used in the recipe. The crust is crunchy, while the inside is moist and tender – just as any good soda bread should be! And when freshly baked and still slightly warm from the oven, this bread transforms into a heavenly treat that pairs beautifully with butter or jam.

If you’re looking for an authentic taste of Ireland or want to impress guests at your next dinner party, I urge you to try this traditional Irish soda bread recipe. Quick and easy to make yet incredibly satisfying to eat – what more could one ask for in a recipe? So, roll up those sleeves and get ready to bake; you won’t regret it!

Ingredient List

 A warm slice of delicious Irish soda bread fresh out of the oven.
A warm slice of delicious Irish soda bread fresh out of the oven.

Gather These Ingredients to Make Traditional Irish Currant Soda Bread:

  • 2 cups of flour (can be whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour or a mix of both)
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cubed
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup of currants
  • Extra flour for the work surface

The ingredients for traditional Irish soda bread are minimal with only a handful of items that you are likely to already have in your pantry. Flour is the staple ingredient and can either be whole wheat, all-purpose or a mixture of both. The type of flour you use will impact the texture and flavor of your bread. You’ll also need some sugar for sweetness, raisins as a variation on currants, baking soda and powder as raising agents, salt for flavor and unsalted butter to bring everything together cohesion. A special mention should also be given to buttermilk, which gives the loaf an unmistakable tangy flavor and creates a chemical reaction with the baking soda that causes it to rise. Finally, each recipe can include additional items like seeds, nuts or cheese.Gather all the ingredients beforehand so that you don’t forget anything.

The Recipe How-To

 Perfectly golden crust with a fluffy interior dotted with sweet currants.
Perfectly golden crust with a fluffy interior dotted with sweet currants.

Now that we have covered the ingredients, it’s time to move on to the recipe itself. Follow these simple steps and you’ll end up with a delicious Traditional Irish Currant Soda Bread.

Preparing the Oven and Mixing Bowl

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease a dutch oven or an oven-safe baking dish.

  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine 4 cups of all-purpose flour, 1/4 cup of granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon of baking soda, 4 teaspoons of baking powder, and 1 teaspoon of Kosher salt.

  3. Add 4 tablespoons of cold unsalted butter to the dry mixture, and use your hand to rub it into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs.

  4. Stir in 1 cup of currants.

Combining Ingredients

  1. In another mixing bowl, combine 2 cups of buttermilk with 1/2 cup of hot water.

  2. Gradually pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until well combined.

  3. Knead the dough a few times on a floured surface and shape it into a round loaf.

Baking the Bread

  1. Place the dough in the greased dutch oven or baking dish and use a sharp knife to cut an “X” into the top of the dough.

  2. Bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean.

  3. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Serving Your Traditional Irish Currant Soda Bread

This bread is best served slightly warm, with a slather of good quality butter, or alongside a comforting bowl of Irish Stew for a true taste of Ireland.

Substitutions and Variations

 Pair a slice with a hot cup of tea for the perfect mid-afternoon snack.
Pair a slice with a hot cup of tea for the perfect mid-afternoon snack.

If you’d like to create your own twist on this traditional Irish currant soda bread recipe, here are some substitutions and variations that you can try:

– Flour: Instead of using only all-purpose flour, you can substitute half of it with whole wheat flour to make the bread healthier. You can also use self-raising flour instead of all-purpose flour, but omit the baking powder and salt since they’re already included in self-raising flour.

– Sugar: You can use brown sugar or honey instead of granulated sugar for a richer flavor.

– Currants: If you don’t have currants, you can use raisins, dried blueberries, cranberries, or chopped apricots instead.

– Buttermilk: The buttermilk reacts with the baking soda to create carbon dioxide bubbles that cause the bread to rise. If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, you can make a homemade substitute by combining 1 cup of milk with 1 tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice. Let it sit for 5 minutes before using it in the recipe.

– Dutch oven: If you have a Dutch oven, you can bake the bread in it to give it a crispy crust and tender interior.

– Savory version: You can make a savory version of Irish soda bread by omitting the sugar and currants, and adding herbs like rosemary, thyme, or chives. You can also add grated cheese or chopped olives for extra flavor.

Remember that these substitutions and variations may affect the texture and flavor of the bread, so experiment with caution. However you decide to customize your Irish soda bread recipe, I’m sure it will be a delicious treat that’s perfect for any occasion!

Serving and Pairing

 The smell of freshly baked bread wafting through your kitchen - nothing beats it.
The smell of freshly baked bread wafting through your kitchen – nothing beats it.

After your Traditional Irish Currant Soda Bread is baked to perfection, it’s time to dig in and savor the flavor. Serve this bread warm with softened butter or even a drizzle of honey for an indulgent treat that will transport you straight to the Emerald Isle.

The light sweetness of currants in the bread pairs perfectly with a cup of hot tea or coffee, making it an ideal breakfast or afternoon snack option. You can also pair it with some Irish butter, which has a rich and creamy taste that brings out the flavors in this soda bread even more.

For those who love savory combinations, try serving your soda bread with some smoked salmon or a classic Irish stew. The saltiness of the fish will contrast nicely with the sweet currants and the hearty stew will complement the hearty texture of the bread.

Whether you choose to enjoy it alone, as a sweet treat or as part of a savory meal, this Traditional Irish Currant Soda Bread is sure to delight your taste buds and warm your heart.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 It's easy to whip up a batch of this Irish classic with just a few simple ingredients.
It’s easy to whip up a batch of this Irish classic with just a few simple ingredients.

Once you have baked your traditional Irish currant soda bread, you may want to store it for later consumption. Thankfully, this bread is versatile and easy to store.

If you’re planning on making this bread in advance, be sure to wrap it in parchment paper or plastic wrap and put it in an airtight container. This will help keep the moisture in and the bread from drying out. It can be stored at room temperature for up to three days.

In case you need to store it for more extended periods, consider refrigerating it. Again, make sure it’s wrapped well with parchment paper or plastic wrap before storing it. Irish soda bread also freezes well, so if you don’t plan on consuming the bread in the next few days or so, place it in a freezer bag and freeze it for easy reheating later.

When reheating it back from the fridge, place the bread in an oven preheated at 350 degrees Fahrenheit and let it heat up for about 10-15 minutes until heated through. For frozen Irish soda bread, allow the loaf to thaw first before heating as described earlier.

It can be eaten as is, warm or toasted with butter spread on top or some homemade jam; serves a great breakfast companion that goes well with coffee or tea.

Tips for Perfect Results

 One bite and you'll be transported to cozy cafes in the heart of Ireland.
One bite and you’ll be transported to cozy cafes in the heart of Ireland.

As a chef specializing in British cuisine, I have some tips to share that will ensure perfect results for your Traditional Irish Currant Soda Bread recipe. I understand that baking bread can be intimidating, but don’t worry, with these tips you’ll be baking like a pro in no time!

1. Don’t overmix the dough: Overmixing the dough can make the bread tough and dense. Mix until just combined, and then knead lightly until it comes together.

2. Use very hot water and mix quickly: The hot water helps activate the baking soda, which is important for creating the rise in the bread. Make sure the water is almost boiling before mixing it in, and then work quickly to get the bread into the oven.

3. Use a Dutch Oven: A Dutch oven allows for the bread to cook evenly and retain its moisture.

4. Soak the currants: Soaking the currants ahead of time will help prevent them from burning in the oven and make them softer and tastier.

5. Score the top of your loaf: scoring the top of your loaf before baking not only gives it a nice aesthetic touch but also provides for directed expansion during cooking and lets more steam escape- ensuring an even bake all around

6. Use quality ingredients: The quality of your ingredients is essential when it comes to baking, so be sure to use fresh flour, high-quality sugar, and buttermilk.

Remember to follow all measurements exactly as written and handle the dough as little as possible. These tips will result in a delicious Traditional Irish Currant Soda Bread that you will be proud to serve at any occasion.


As the chef behind this traditional Irish currant soda bread recipe, I understand that even with detailed instructions and tips, there may still be questions from readers. So, to ensure a perfect baking experience, here are the frequently asked questions about this recipe along with their answers.

What is traditional Irish soda bread made of?

When making authentic Irish soda bread, you’ll require a handful of key ingredients: flour, baking soda, salt, and buttermilk. The reaction between the acid in the buttermilk and the base of the baking soda is what causes the leavening in the bread. This leavening process due to the buttermilk and baking soda is the reason why this type of bread is called “soda bread.”

What makes Irish soda bread different?

Soda bread is a type of Irish bread that is made without yeast and requires only four essential ingredients. The rising process is initiated by the reaction between baking soda and buttermilk. In Ireland, soda bread is typically made using whole-wheat flour that is ground on a stone, although versions made with white flour are also popular.

Why did my Irish soda bread fall apart?

When making traditional soda bread, it is important to use the correct amounts of flour and buttermilk. If too much flour is used and too little buttermilk, the bread can turn out excessively crumbly. It is vital to measure the flour correctly by spooning and leveling it.

How do the Irish eat Irish soda bread?

For those looking for a classic and satisfying way to enjoy their Irish soda bread, I suggest indulging in it while still warm and slathered with a generous amount of butter. There’s nothing quite like the rich and comforting taste it provides, filling your senses with a warm and inviting aroma.

What is Irish soda bread called in Ireland?

Soda bread is a beloved staple in Ireland, with varying shapes and forms depending on the region. For instance, in the northern part of Ireland, soda bread is known as farl, where it is cooked on a griddle and cut into individual pieces. It’s important to note that making traditional Irish soda bread, particularly farl, is anything but quick and easy.

Why is my Irish soda bread hard?

When making bread without yeast, it is crucial to avoid over-kneading as it can result in a tough and dense texture. It’s best to remember that the more you knead, the harder the crumb will be. Additionally, scoring the bread is a vital step as it helps to ensure even cooking throughout the center.

Bottom Line

As I wrap up this article on the traditional Irish currant soda bread recipe, I’d like to leave you with a few thoughts. If you’re in search of a bread that is easy to make, yet delicious and substantial enough to go with any meal, then look no further than this recipe. With its simple list of ingredients and straightforward instructions, making bread from scratch has never been easier or more satisfying.

Not only is this recipe quick and easy to prepare, but it is also versatile in terms of serving and pairing. Whether enjoyed on its own or served alongside a hearty stew or soup, this bread is the perfect addition to any meal. And when it comes time to store or reheat your leftovers, the bread will maintain its texture and flavor for days, thanks to the simple yet effective tips outlined in this article.

As a chef specializing in British cuisine, I know firsthand the power food can have in connecting us to our cultural heritage. And with traditional Irish soda bread being such an integral part of Irish culture and history, there’s no reason not to give this recipe a try. So grab your mixing bowl and ingredients, preheat your oven, and get ready to experience the warmth and comfort of this classic dish.

In conclusion, I highly recommend trying out this recipe for traditional Irish currant soda bread. Not only will it provide you with a convenient and delicious option for homemade bread at any time of day, but it will also allow you to tap into the rich cultural heritage of Ireland. Give it a try today – you won’t be disappointed!

Traditional Irish Currant Soda Bread

Traditional Irish Currant Soda Bread Recipe

This traditional Irish soda bread is served warm with lots of butter to accompany your cornbeef and cabbage boiled dinner. Happy St. Patrick's Day!
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Irish
Keyword < 4 Hours, Breads, Easy, European, Healthy, Low Cholesterol, Oven, Quick Breads, St. Patrick's Day, Weeknight
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Calories 268.5kcal


  • 3 cups sifted flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup dry currants
  • 1 1/3 cups buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons sugar (for glaze)
  • 2 tablespoons hot water (for glaze)


  • Sift flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
  • Stir in currants and milk.
  • Combine until well blended.
  • Dough will be sticky.
  • Turn out onto floured board and knead 10 times, until smooth.
  • Shape into an 8" round loaf.
  • Place on ungreased cookie sheet.
  • Cut an"X" with a knife into the top of the loaf.
  • Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes.
  • Remove from oven; pour sugar and water glaze over the top and return to oven for an additional 10 minutes.


Serving: 118g | Calories: 268.5kcal | Carbohydrates: 59g | Protein: 6.9g | Fat: 0.9g | Saturated Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 1.6mg | Sodium: 292.1mg | Fiber: 2.5g | Sugar: 22.1g

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