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Rosemary Raisin Irish Soda Bread

This post has been adapted from a post from Belly Full. View the recipe on the Belly Full blog here: https://bellyfull.net/2018/03/02/irish-soda-bread/ 

Quick SkilletIrish Soda Bread

Happy St. Patrick's Day! The wee bit of Irish within me wanted a fully Irish dinner tonight. So, I threw together this Irish Soda Bread to accompany my Irish stew. Inspired by this recipe I found on Pinterest, I added my own twist. In my version of this recipe, I swapped in golden raisins. And the rosemary is borrowed from classic Focaccia.

Whether you're a bread making novice or a kneading pro - this bread can be made by anyone. 

irish soda bread

Now, I've made this for a wintery meal. But this could be the perfect summer accompaniment to a patio dinner in July. And a frosty pint of Guinness is always in season.

Fact: Irish soda bread gets its name from the baking soda used, not any kind of "pop" or carbonated beverage in the mix.


4 cups, all-purpose flour
1/4 cup, sugar
1 tsp, baking soda
1 1/2 tsp, salt
4 tbsp, cold butter (cubed)
1 cup, golden raisins
2 tbsp, fresh rosemary (chopped, if desired)
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 3/4 cups, buttermilk

Directions (tips to follow)

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

  2. Coat a 10-inch cast iron skillet with nonstick cooking spray; set aside. (I used olive oil)

  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Using your hands or a pastry cutter, work the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs.

  4. Toss in the raisins and rosemary.

  5. Add in the buttermilk and egg and mix with a wooden spoon until combined. Dough will be sticky.

  6. Dust your hands with a little flour and dump the dough onto a well-floured work surface; knead it a few times into a round loaf until it just comes together. Watch the video above for an under-a-minute how-to!

  7. Transfer to the prepared skillet. Using a serrated knife, score an “X” or an "✻" on the top of the dough about an inch deep. *This is key

  8. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a long thin skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean and the top is golden. Tent with foil it the top starts to burn.

  9. Remove skillet from oven using oven mitts and allow to sit for 5-10 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and slice!

  10. Enjoy with butter, jam, dinner or plain!

scoring on irish soda bread


As you'll see above, Step 7 mentions to score the bread before baking. This ensures the heat can get deep into the centre of the bread and bake through. Otherwise, you'll end up with either an overcooked outer or an undercooked centre.

You can score in 4 or 6 sections. I opted to score in 6 sections to make serving a bit easier. But depending on your preferred portion size, you can decide.


My one word of advice is don't over mix! Speaking from experience, the gluten will make the bread stiff and result in an overly dense bread. To guide you in this process, I've tracked down this video (under 1 minute) to demonstrate.

Video courtesy of Dear Martini Kitchen via YouTube

slice of irish soda bread

If you've tried this bread, or another version of Irish soda bread, let me know! Share in the comments or on social. 

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