Irish Soda Bread – Nance and Robyn make the same recipe

Every week we’ll post a recipe that we both made. This week’s recipe was Irish Soda Bread. Printable recipe can be found at the bottom of this post. The original recipe was found in the Cooking With Pryde cookbook by Pressley Ridge.

Robyn’s Take:

PLEASE NOTE: NANCE’S PART OF THIS POST WILL BE UP, HOPEFULLY, LATER TODAY. Since it’s an Irish-themed recipe, we wanted to get at least part of it published today in honor of St. Patrick’s Day.

This week’s recipe was another one that Nance found in that old cookbook she’s got,  Cooking with Pryde. I’m in charge of scheduling the recipes, so I scheduled it for today, figuring this would be the perfect day for it.


I’m pretty sure that I’d never heard of Irish Soda Bread before, but in the last few days, I’ve gotten two recipes for it in my email. Neither of those recipes resembled the other – or the one I’m doing today – much at all, aside from the name, and the fact that there’s baking soda somewhere in the recipe.

If I were the sort of gal to have my act together, I’d have made a New England Boiled Dinner (corned beef, cabbage, assorted vegetables) and served this bread with it, to get the whole Irish experience and to have excellent pictures to tease y’all with. However, we only have corned beef and cabbage once a year, because Fred is some sort of freak who thinks that boiled meat is “gross.” (And then he elbows me out of the way to get to the corned beef, because he is strong in his beliefs.) So I will be making corned beef and cabbage for dinner later today, but I will not be taking pictures of it, unless I decide to do so for a post for NEXT year. (Don’t hold your breath.)

So, Irish Soda Bread. Here we go – your ingredients:

Irish Soda Bread (1)

Flour, sugar, salt, baking soda (THUS THE NAME), eggs, buttermilk, melted butter. The recipe lists raisins as an optional ingredient. I opted O HELL NO, because I am no fan of raisins. In my life, there are very limited areas where raisins are acceptable. These places are: cereal. And that’s it. I don’t want raisins in my bread, and I sure as shit don’t want raisins in my cookies. Haven’t we all thought we were getting a chocolate chip cookie, only to realize that those were NOT chocolate chips, they were RAISINS? Blech. That right there is a scarring experience. Scarred FOR LIFE, I was.

If you want to put raisins in your bread, you feel free to do so. Just don’t invite me over for dinner.

First, grease and flour a 9-inch round cake pan.

Irish Soda Bread (2)

Usually I use baking spray on cake pans, but I decided to go OLD SKOOL, and actually greased and floured the pan.

This is one of those simple recipes where you sift your dry ingredients together, mix your wet ingredients together, and then dump your wet ingredients into your dry and mix ’em up.

Irish Soda Bread (3) Irish Soda Bread (4)

Irish Soda Bread (5)

I imagine that you COULD use a hand mixer to mix everything, but I used a big spoon to do it, and just when I thought that the dough was going to be too dry, all of a sudden it came together.

And I thought “That’s kind of a wetter dough than I was expecting.”

Irish Soda Bread (6)

My first reaction was to think of adding more flour to the mix, but I decided to just go with it as it was, and see what I ended up with. I dumped it into the cake pan.

Irish Soda Bread (7)

You’re supposed to cut a cross into the top of the dough, but – did I mention that it was a pretty wet dough? I cut a cross the best that I could, not that you can really see it.

Irish Soda Bread (8)

On a side note, I read that cutting a cross in the top of the dough wards off evil spirits, but since I feed and scoop the litter boxes of a dozen evil spirits every day, I didn’t think a cross in the top of the bread would do much to banish them, so I wasn’t too hopeful.

The bread was supposed to bake for an hour, but when I glanced at it after 55 minutes, it already looked a little overdone, so I took it out.

Irish Soda Bread (9) Irish Soda Bread (10)

Fred thought it looked like a giant biscuit.

I let it cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then put it on the wire rack to let it cool completely. Then I cut it in half and cut a wedge to give it a try.

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The verdict? It was a nice chewy, dense bread. If I were in the mood for a slightly sweet bread, I’d likely make a loaf of this because it was really easy to make. I think it’ll be good sliced and toasted, with a little butter on it. Fred agreed with my assessment. I might even start making it every year to go with the corned beef and cabbage!

Edited to add: I made this again for St. Patrick’s Day 2015, baked it for 45 minutes, and it was even better!

Irish Soda Bread (12)
Kiss him, he’s Irish.

Nance’s Take:


Irish Soda Bread - Nance and Robyn make the same recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
: Bread
Cuisine: Irish!
Serves: 8
  • 3½ c. all-purpose flour
  • ⅔ c. granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ¼ lb raisins (optional)(yuck)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1½ c. buttermilk
  • 2 T melted butter
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. Grease and flour a round 9-inch cake pan.
  3. Sift dry ingredients together. Add raisins, if you're using them. (Yuck.)
  4. In a separate bowl mix eggs, buttermilk, and melted butter. Add to dry ingredients and stir until completely mixed.
  5. Pour into your prepared pan. Cut a cross about 1½ inches deep across the top center of the dough.
  6. Bake for 50 - 60 minutes, until the bread is golden brown. (Note: mine took 45 minutes.)
  7. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then remove to a rack until cool enough to handle.



Irish Soda Bread – Nance and Robyn make the same recipe — 31 Comments

  1. Favorite bit: learning about Fred’s deeply held belief and how deeply he adheres to it. The evil spirits are a close second. Looking forward to a possible raisin d’être from the Nance.

  2. Oh, Patrick is gonna kick your butt!
    I’m making mine today and I’ll be using raisins because I’m not skeeeered of no dead, dried up grapes.

  3. Raisins are EVIL and need to be eradicated from the face of the earth!

    But I love me some dried cranberries – what’s up with that? 🙂

  4. As soon as I saw that it was DCEP on St. Patrick’s Day, I knew I should have kept the “St. YOU Day” crap to myself!

    Boiled dinner. I mean, I guess I get why people like stringy meat and root vegetables boiled together until they all taste like one giant burp, but…

    …no, wait, I don’t.

    I’m working from home today so I don’t have to wear green. You’d be AMAZED at how angry Bostonians get when you’re named Patrick and don’t wear green. Then again, the Southie St. Paddy’s Day Parade doesn’t allow teh gays, so maybe my irritation at this holiday is moot.

    This just turned into therapy…

    • I like to wear black on St. Patrick’s day. When people ask why, I tell them I’m in mourning for all the snakes that died in Ireland.

    • I only did that BECAUSE you mentioned it last week. Otherwise, I don’t think it would have occurred to me.

      It’s your own fault, is what I’m saying!

      I’m pretty sure St. Patrick’s Day should be a paid holiday for Patricks and Patricias!

    • I have never had a boiled dinner (corned beef) and now that I know it tastes like one giant burp I think I’m gonna pass.
      I’m wearing green today, but only because it’s my favorite hoodie.
      The whole parade/gays thing is ridiculous and shameful. I have now validated your feelings. 5 Cents, please. lol

  5. I cannot STAND raisins. Every year on Christmas morning, my mom makes french toast for breakfast. Well, one year she was out of regular bread and used raisin bread instead. With the amount of egg batter and butter covering those things, I totally didn’t realize it in my half-awake state and 10 years later I am STILL SHUDDERING at the horror of raisins in my french toast. That’s just wrong, yo.

  6. I’m still in love with your pink pyrex princess bowl! And I concur with your anti-raisin stance, oatmeal is the only place raisins belong. My mom used to put a box of raisins in my lunch for “dessert” … WTF?!

  7. As I sit here enjoying my oatmeal WITH RAISINS, I’m happy to see a good review. For some irrational reason I’ve always thought this bread probably tasted like soda. Cuz, you know, why wouldn’t everyone love soda tasting bread? I might actually try it sometime.

  8. I wish I could make this and feed it to the cats so they don’t leave evil spirits in the litterbox.

    Mistaking raisins for chocolate chips is one of the worst experiences ever in life. Like taking a drink of soda and it turns out to be tea. Or finding a wet spot on the floor and it’s cat pee instead of water. #1stworldproblems

    • I have a little plaque in my kitchen that says ” Raisin cookies that look like chocolate chip cookies are the reason I have trust issues.”

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