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Irish Soda Bread

Whole Wheat Irish Soda Bread
Recipe At-A-Glance
Vegetarian45 minutes
Classic Irish Soda Bread is a quick bread recipe that is rustic and flavorful. Serve it with your favorite soup or stew for a hearty dinner.

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Whole Wheat Irish Soda Bread

Whole Wheat Irish Soda Bread

Recipe At-A-Glance

Think Irish Soda Bread is hard to make? Think again. With this recipe, you can have soda bread in no time!

Vegetarian, Whole Grain

Ready in 45 minutes

I’ve been doing a little bit of diving into my family tree recently. It is a truly fascinating journey (especially for someone who is such a mutt like me). I’ve been taken down all kinds of ancestral paths, but one of my the more fun ones is the exploration of some of my Irish roots.

I haven’t done the math, but I’d say I’m about 00.01% Irish. And on St. Patrick’s Day, that’s all you need! St. Patrick’s Day is even more special for me and my husband. We were married on St. Patrick’s Day in 2007, so tomorrow is our fourth wedding anniversary. It certainly makes it easy to never forget our anniversary.

Whole Wheat Irish Soda Bread

We have fun plans for this weekend to celebrate our four years of wedded bliss, but tomorrow we’re going to celebrate our Irish ancestry (regardless of how small). We’re making Dublin Coddle with a side of Guinness, but it wouldn’t be St. Patrick’s Day without soda bread.

It seems that pretty much everyone has their favorite soda bread recipe. From my bit of research, it seems that traditional soda bread is very, very plain. But my favorite version has raisins and caraway seeds. Leave them out, put them in, whatever makes you happy. I just adore the way soda bread looks. Rustic, craggy, browned. I’d imagine it doesn’t look all that different from how it looked hundreds of years ago.

Whole Wheat Irish Soda Bread

Oh yeah, and it is delicious! Crispy and crunchy on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside with a tang from the baking soda, sweetness from the raisins and crunchy, rye flavor from the caraway seeds.


Irish Soda Bread with Raisins and Caraway

Irish Soda Bread with Raisins and Caraway

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

Classic Irish Soda Bread is a quick bread recipe that is rustic and flavorful. Serve it with your favorite soup or stew for a hearty dinner.

Adapted from Simply Recipes.


  • 4 cups white whole wheat or all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 6 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup raisins, optional
  • 1 tablespoon caraway seeds, optional
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 3/4 cups buttermilk


  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Grease a large cast iron skillet or a Dutch oven. Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda.
  3. Using a pastry mixer or fork, cut butter into the flour mixture until well-incorporated.
  4. Stir in raisins and caraway seeds.
  5. Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture, add egg and buttermilk to the well. Stir until just incorporated. Do not overmix! This makes the bread tough. Some lumps of flour are fine.
  6. Dust hands with flour and form into a round loaf. Place the dough into the prepared pan. Using a serrated knife, cut 1-2″ deep in a crosshatch fashion (this allows heat to penetrate through the dough).
  7. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until top is browned and bread sounds hollow when the bottom is tapped. If top gets too brown too quickly, cover with aluminum foil while the bread finishes off.


  • If you are using whole wheat flour, you might need a touch more liquid—add a tablespoon more buttermilk at a time until you get a sticky dough.
  • This is a great recipe for the food processor. To make in the food processor, pulse together the flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda. Then add in the butter, and pulse until it is well incorporated. Add in the caraway seeds, egg, and buttermilk, and pulse until just incorporated. Fold in the raisins, if using, and proceed with step 6 of the recipe.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 552 Total Fat: 12g Saturated Fat: 6g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 4g Cholesterol: 48mg Sodium: 763mg Carbohydrates: 99g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 13g Sugar: 18g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 20g
At Wholefully, we believe that good nutrition is about much more than just the numbers on the nutrition facts panel. Please use the above information as only a small part of what helps you decide what foods are nourishing for you.


Cassie is the founder and CEO of Wholefully. She's a home cook and wellness junkie with a love of all things healthy living. She lives on a small hobby farm in Southern Indiana with her husband, daughter, two dogs, two cats, and 15 chickens.

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11 Responses
  1. Jenn

    I made Irish Soda bread for the first time a couple of months ago… loved how easy it was to make! Thanks for sharing a different version. Never thought to add other stuff to it.

  2. beabee

    I love bread made this way! My dad made lots of breads and biscuits without yeast (I’m more of a yeast lover, myself, but pretty much any bread is good). Tomorrow *is* St. Patrick’s Day, isn’t it? Happy anniversary!

  3. Melissa B.

    Your soda bread looks great! I’m making Guinness stew (with a side of Guinness, of course), and Irish soda bread, as well! My recipe looks pretty much identical to yours. I have absolutely no Irish in me, but it’s awesome to celebrate other cultures ancestry by making and sampling their foods!
    Happy anniversary 🙂

  4. K-role

    It’s been a while now that I’m following this blog and that’s the first recipe I try : well, I like it very much but that’s not so surprising!! What is more surprising is that my husband likes it too (tell a French man that you’re going to make a recipe from an american healthy blog!!), I’m really happy he changed his mind : I will be able to make so much more of your recipes!!
    Thx Cass and sorry if there are any mistakes : I’m French too!

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