Irish American Soda Bread This slightly sweet, aromatic bread is quintessentially Irish American. And it’s a great way to start your St. Patrick’s Day. But don’t just enjoy it on the holiday! Waking up to the smell of this bread baking will add a dash of Irish charm to any day.
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9in round loaf


20 MIN.


50-60 MIN.



  • Vegetable oil, for coating the fry pan
  • 3¾ cups all-purpose flour, plus 1 Tbs.
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1½ cups cold buttermilk
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tsp. finely grated orange zest
  • ½ cup golden raisins
  • ¼ cup currants
  • ¼ cup (4 Tbs.) cold unsalted butter, chopped
  • 1 Tbs. milk
  • 2 tsp. sugar in the raw


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly coat a 10-in. cast iron fry pan with oil.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the 3¾ cups flour, the sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk the buttermilk, egg yolk, and orange zest.
  4. In a small bowl, toss the raisins and currants with the 1 tablespoon of flour to coat.
  5. Rub the butter into the dry ingredients with your fingertips, two knives, or a pastry cutter until the mixture resembles coarse sand.
  6. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and gradually stir in the buttermilk mixture, stirring in the dried fruit with the last addition of liquid. With lightly floured hands, knead the dough just to bring it together (do not overmix), then form into a ball about 7 in. in diameter, smoothing the surface as you do.
  7. Turn out into the cast iron skillet. Using a sharp paring knife, score an X into the top of the dough. Then brush the top all over with the milk and sprinkle over the sugar in the raw.
  8. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, checking after 30 minutes to see if it is browning too fast. If so, cover loosely with foil. Bread is done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Then transfer to a baking rack to cool completely before slicing. Enjoy toasted or untoasted, slathered with butter.

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