Preview: Irish soda bread dough comes together in about 10 minutes. You need buttermilk, an egg, flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and butter. Whisk the wet ingredients together. Whisk the dry ingredients together. Cut cold butter into the dry ingredients. Like scones and pie crust, cutting cold butter into the flour is a key step. Coating the flour in cold butter guarantees a lovely flaky texture. You can use a fork, your hands, or a pastry cutter. Add the wet ingredients. Bring the dough together with your hands and knead a few times. Don’t stress, it’s really easy! Bake until golden brown.
1 ¾ cups buttermilk
1 large egg
4 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
3 Tbs granulated sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
5 Tbs unsalted butter, cold and cubed
Optional: 1 cup raisins
Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a seasoned 10-12 inch cast iron skillet with parchment paper. Set aside.
Whisk the buttermilk and egg together. Set aside. Whisk the flour, granulated sugar, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl. Cut in the butter using a pastry cutter, a fork, or your fingers.
Work the dough until it resembles coarse crumbs, then stir in the raisins. Pour into the buttermilk/egg mixture. Gently fold the dough together until dough is too stiff to stir. With floured hands on a lightly floured surface, work the dough into an 8-9 inch round loaf as best you can. Knead the dough for about 30 seconds or until all the flour is moistened. If the dough is too sticky, add a little more flour.
Transfer the dough to the prepared skillet/pan. Using a sharp knife, score an X into the top. Bake until the bread is golden brown and the center appears cooked through (about 45 minutes). Loosely cover the bread with aluminum foil if you notice heavy browning on top.
Remove from the oven and allow bread to cool for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack. Serve warm, at room temperature, or toasted with desired toppings/spreads.
Cover and store bread at room temperature for 2 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
3 Success Tips
Don’t overwork the dough. It’s supposed to look a little shaggy.
Score the top of the dough with an “X” before baking. This helps the center bake through.
You can bake Irish soda bread on a baking sheet, in a baking pan, or in a cast iron skillet. I recommend a cast iron skillet because it helps guarantee a super crispy crust.