Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Recipes: Irish Soda Bread and Spread

We're re-publishing this recipe added to our Family Cookbook in March, 2009; it's a tradition of one family group's Saint Patrick's Day menu (sign-in and  click here). The recipe's contributor says her family likes to add an authentic Irish spread (below, and yes, on top of the butter!).  

Serve this Irish Soda Bread with your meal, or as dessert with coffee, tea or Irish Coffee. For family access to our recipe collection, please send your full contact info and a favorite recipe to bigfamilynews-dot-info at gmail dot com.

Photo source unknown

Best Irish Soda Bread
Makes 1 (8-inch) or 2 smaller loaves
4 cups unsifted All-Purpose flour
2 Tablespoons sugar (add a little more)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup seedless dark raisins (If available, currants are very good. You might like a mix of dark and golden raisins.)
1 to 1¼ cups buttermilk
2 Tablespoons soft butter
Vegetable cooking spray

Notes:  According to the Society for the Preservation of Irish Soda Bread, "if your 'soda bread' has raisins, it's not 'soda bread!'  It's called 'Spotted Dog' or 'Railway Cake'!"

  1. Preheat oven to 375˚F.
  2. In mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients and the raisins. Stir well.
  3. Make a well in center of mixture. Gradually add buttermilk, stirring until lightly but thoroughly blended. Use only enough buttermilk to make stiff dough.
  4. Turn dough out onto lightly floured board. Knead 5 times. Form dough into a ball and place on lightly greased cookie sheet. Pat to an 8-inch circle, approximately 1-inch thick.
  5. If you want to share as a gift, divide the dough at this point into two smaller rounds of same thickness.
  6. With a floured knife, make a large cross on top of the loaf. This is decorative as well as functional to keep the loaf from cracking during baking.
  7. Spread the 2 Tablespoons of softened butter on top of the loaf.
  8. Bake in 375-degree oven for 40 to 50 minutes or until golden brown. When fully cooked, the loaf will sound hollow when tapped. If you divided to make 2 loaves, watch the oven and test for different cooking time.
  9. Serve hot with plenty of butter.
This bread gets hard quickly, so don't let it stand around very long. Questions? Here's our Contact Form.

Cream Cheese Spread
Serving size not stated
8 oz softened cream cheese
1 cup Confectioner’s Sugar, more or less to taste (family note)
Food coloring for desired tint (just for fun!)

  1. Thoroughly mix all ingredients.
  2. Serve with bread. 
  3. Refrigerate any remaining spread.

Last Updated March 9, 2013

What's your favorite Irish Blessing? Please share it in comments! 

1 comment:

  1. My sister has tried many Irish Soda Bread recipes and says by far, this one is her favorite.


We appreciate all feedback and encourage you to comment on this blog. Our online team will respond to new issues addressed in comments with future posts on this blog. If you are asking a question click the 'Subscribe By Mail' link below the comment form to be notified of replies.

Our e-mail address is You can find us on Twitter @BigFamilyNews, or by subscribing to our RSS feeds.