This Recipe Hit List is a handpicked collection from around the net featuring a variety of Irish Soda Breads to make. A “true” loaf is made only from four ingredients: flour, baking soda, salt and buttermilk so I made sure to include two different sources that are strictly traditional (they lead the list at #1), but the rest feature a variety of flavor twists, either with added fruits, seeds, oats, or even experimenting with different flours. Lots to choose from in this collection, enjoy!
Did you know: If your version has raisins, it’s not soda bread! It’s called “Spotted Dog” or “Railway Cake”! If it contains raisins, eggs, baking powder, sugar or shortening, it’s called “cake”, not “bread.” [source: Society for the Preservation of Irish Soda Bread ]
*Note: Descriptions below are quotes from the reference sites
- Marion Cunningham’s : It’s much, much different. There’s very little fat. In theory, you’d think that the bread would be tough. It’s handled gingerly so that doesn’t happen. The buttermilk makes it very tender. The exterior was stunning–like artisan bread at its finest. I cut a thin wedge and tasted it. The result was something I wasn’t expecting–it actually had a texture similar to yeast bread. From Cafe Johnsonia. You’ll find a very similar recipe here: From Cottage Life  (which is also the source of the above mentioned society page).
- With Instructional Video : From Martha Stewart.
- From Grand Central Bakery : A favorite recipe from a favorite new cookbook that was a gift from a favorite friend puts this Irish Soda Bread with currants, caraway seeds and orange zest at the top of my heap. From Whipped.
- With Raisins : It has caraway seeds and raisins in it, which is the way all my friends’ moms made it when I was growing up. I have to say, though, that the caraway seeds are definitely not a favorite. So, by all means, leave them out, and the raisins, too, if you wish. From Sophistimom.
- Two Versions : Two different recipes, one plain and one fruity version for tea time. From Mixed Greens Blog.
- Wheat Free : Because I try to minimize my wheat consumption, I used half spelt flour and half oats (some of which are whirred in a blender to create a fine oat flour) in place of white/wheat flour in this recipe. You are welcome to make this with regular flour if that’s what you’ve got, though. I baked this soda bread in a pie dish and sliced it “scone-style”, but you can bake it into another shape if you like. From Healthy Green Kitchen.
- With Buttermilk & Honey : Baking with yeast can be a daunting prospect, which is why Irish soda bread–which uses baking powder, bicarb and buttermilk to rise–is a easy task for baking beginners to tackle. From Grab Your Fork.
- With Raisins & Caraway Seeds : For me, however, it isn’t the same without the plump, juicy currants or raisins and a good helping of caraway seeds. There are endless variations on the basic ingredients and it’s just about the simplest thing you can make … even if you don’t consider yourself a baker or bread maker! Pour all the ingredients into a bowl, stir and bake … then presto! Hot, fresh, delicious bread! From A Dash of Sass.
- Brown : Makes 2 small loaves. Traditionally Irish soda bread is baked in a skillet or on a hearthstone. I use a pizza stone, with a wooden peel to handle the bread, but a preheated skillet, prepared with cooking spray, or a baking sheet lined with parchment paper may also be used. The crust will be crunchier if you use the stone or the skillet method. From Stephen Cooks.
- With Dried Cherries : I was in charge of bringing the Irish Soda Bread which was really moist and tasty. I did not use raisins- can’t stand the things, or the caraway seed. I substituted dried cherries in their stead. From Big Red Kitchen.
- Dairy Free & Rustic : This version also contains oatmeal for a lovely addition. The caraway seeds add so much flavor, and the raisins sweetness. But really could you add what you like! Nuts, seeds, dried fruit, it would all be good. From The Nourishing Gourmet.
- With Fennel & Cinnamon : Normally, Irish soda bread is made with caraway seeds, but I didn’t have any on hand and decided to try fennel seeds instead. Definitely, a great choice. Along with the cinnamon, it made the bread super flavourful and definitely not bland or boring. From Everybody Likes Sandwiches.
- Muffins, American Style : Americanized, with its strong caraway component, isn’t to everyone’s taste. But if you happen to like the sweetness of currants married to the assertive, peppery flavor of caraway (I do), then you’ll find comfort in these muffins, a single-serve version of the traditional large round or loaf. From King Arthur Flour.