Soda Bread


Makes 8 servings

Soda Bread
  • 2½ cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cups unbleached flour
  • 2½ Tablespoons sugar (see notes)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup butter (1 stick, 4oz), warmed to room temperature
  • ½ cup sultanas (optional)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup buttermilk


Preheat the oven to 375°. Sift together the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Work in the butter with your hands until crumbly. If you want to include raisins, add them in now, distributing evenly. In a separate bowl, mix egg and buttermilk.

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, pour in the wet, and mix with your hands until it forms a stiff dough. Form into a flattened round. Place on a baking sheet and slash with an X. Bake until golden (about 45 minutes) but take a look at the 30 minute mark. Depending on how deeply you gashed the loaf and how fresh your baking powder, the loaf may have split dramatically, forming fragile peaks at tht top. If those spikey tips are already darkening unevenly, cover loosely with aluminum foil.


This is our personal twist on Dublin's Royal Hibernian Hotel’s rich wholemeal soda bread. Ours is a little moister and even a little richer. With the raisins, it’s halfway between a soda bread and a scone loaf.


For a richer color and slightly moister crumb, substitute 2 teaspoons of molasses for the last ½ Tablespoon of sugar. Make sure it goes in with the liquid ingredients as molasses is acidic and will react with the soda as soon as they meet.