Wholesome Irish Soda Bread

wholesome Irish soda bread
This wholesome Irish Soda Bread is made with whole white flour, buttermilk and a generous amount of currants.

St. Patrick’s Day was always a celebration in our house. We didn’t have big parties but we had Irish food and mom would pin a little boutonniere of Shamrocks to my sweater before I left for school.
St. Patrick’s Day was the only day of the year we ate Irish soda bread so it was always a treat. It even looks special. Baked in lovely boule shapes the bread has an artisan look with the ease of a quick bread.

wholesome Irish soda bread
Mom cut this recipe out of a Red Book magazine sometime in the late 1960s or early 1970s. We have tried other Irish soda bread recipes over the years but have always come back to this recipe. (Traditionalists will tell you that true Irish soda bread has neither sugar nor currants but they do add a nice sweetness that makes the bread extra special.)

Mom’s Wholesome Irish Soda Bread


  • 4 cups flour
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • ¾ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ Tbsp. salt
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 ½ cups buttermilk
  • ¾ cup currants
  • 1 egg beaten (to glaze)
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  2. Whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Rub in the softened butter.
  3. In another bowl combine the beaten egg and buttermilk. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the buttermilk mixture. Stir to combine then stir in the currants. Gather dough into a ball, cut in half and shape into two round loaves.
  4. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet, cut an “x” in the top of each, brush with beaten egg and bake for about 35 minutes.

Green tip: This recipe is great made with stone ground whole white flour.


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