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Irish Soda Bread

Orang cranberry Irish soda bread loaf with slices and sideswipe beater in background

This easy, delicious soda bread recipe is made using your stand mixer. Adapted from an Ina Garten recipe, it's the perfect accompaniment to stews, soups and salads. And, our course, it's a great way to bring a little more Irish into your St. Patrick's Day dinner.

Our recipe delivers a firm yet tender bread with a little sweetness. We've made the recipe with and without dried fruit. It's delicious both ways. Ina's original recipe includes fruit and zest, which we've listed as optional below. If you don't want much sweetness, feel free to decrease the sugar to 2-3 Tablespoons

Most delicious on the first day, it will keep in a sealed container at room temperature for about three days.

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  • 4 cups (500g, 18 ounces) all-purpose flour plus more for dusting worktop
  • 4 Tablespoons (reduce to 2-3T for less sweet bread)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 4 Tablespoons (1/2 stick, 57g) cold unsalted butter, cut into small dice
  • 1-3/4 cups cold buttermilk
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • Smaller Dutch oven (we used 4 qt) or sheet pan
  • Plastic bench scraper
  • Small bowl for dipping bench scraper
  • Large serrated knife
Optional add-ins
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 cup (135g) optional dried fruit (raisins, sweetened cranberries, cherries, currants)
  • 1 Tablespoon extra flour for coating fruit


  1. Heat the oven to 375° F.
  2. Line a Dutch oven or sheet pan with parchment paper.
  3. Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with SideSwipe or your flat paddle attachment.
  4. Add the butter and mix on low speed until the butter is mixed into the flour. It will look lumpy. This is fine.  
  5. With a fork, lightly beat the buttermilk, egg and orange zest together in a measuring cup.
  6. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture. It will be very wet. 
  7. OPTIONAL-Combine the fruit with 1 tablespoon of flour and mix into the dough.
  8. Dump the dough onto a well-floured board and using a wet bench scraper, fold it inward a few times to shape into a round loaf. You can also do this with your hands, but make sure they are wet, as the dough is VERY sticky and sloppy.
  9. Place the loaf into the prepared Dutch oven or sheet pan and
  10. Lightly cut an X into the top of the bread with a wet, serrated knife.
  11. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes. The loaf is done when the top looks golden, the sides a light brown. When you tap the loaf, it will have a hollow sound.
  12. Leave the bread in/on the pan for 5 minutes to cool, then move to a  baking rack to finish cooling. Serve warm or at room temperature with butter.