Bread · Irish Recipe · Make By Hand · No Egg · No Stand Mixer

Irish Fruit Soda Bread

Soda Bread is a traditional Irish quick bread which can be taken from mixing bowl to freshly baked loaf in under an hour.

Traditionally, Soda Bread was baked in a bastible (a type of cooking pot) over an open fire. We always bake ours in a cast iron pot to mimic this traditional cooking method.

Irish Fruit Soda Bread

Quick and Easy Fruit Soda Bread - a traditional Irish recipe.


  • 450g plain / all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp bread soda
  • 375g buttermilk
  • 100g raisins or sultanas


  1. Place a cast iron pot (or any cooking pot, complete with its lid, on a middle or low oven shelf and preheat the oven, with the pot, to 220°C.
  2. Measure the flour, sugar, salt and bread soda into a large bowl and whisk to combine. (Whisking the dry ingredients like this remove any lumps from the flour and incorporates air into the mix.)
  3. Next, stir in the raisins/sultanas with a large spoon. Pour in the buttermilk and mix to form a rough dough.
  4. Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Use floured hands to form the dough into a flattish circle shape and use a sharp knife to cut a deep cross into the loaf, to let the fairies out as the tradition goes. This deep cut, of course, also helps to make sure that the loaf bakes properly all the way through to the centre.
  5. Next, REMEMBERING THAT THE POT WILL BE SUPER HOT, remove the preheated pot from the oven and place on a heatproof surface. Remove the lid using an oven glove, AGAIN REMEMBERING THAT THE POT AND LID ARE ROASTING HOT. Sprinkle a little flour into the base of the hot pot to prevent the bread from sticking. Next lift your loaf carefully and drop into the hot pot.
  6. Remembering to use an oven glove, replace the hot lid onto the hot pot and place the pot back in the preheated oven. Bake at 220°C for 10 minutes then reduce the heat to 180°C and continue to bake for another 20 minutes.
  7. At the end of the baking period, take the pot from the oven and remove the lid. Allow the bread to cool in the pot for 5 minutes then place on a wire rack to cool for at least another 10 minutes – then slice and serve!
This bread can be sliced thickly and eaten while still very warm, after just 15 minutes out of the oven. Just slice and slather with butter or jam. When completely cooled, the bread can be sliced more thinly and is also delicious toasted.

No buttermilk? No problem! Mix 350g milk with 25g of malt vinegar or lemon juice. Stir a leave to one side to thicken slightly before using in the recipe.


One thought on “Irish Fruit Soda Bread

  1. I love spotted soda bread but include a little butter in my own recipe. It’s funny how old practices come back into use: lots of bakers use cast iron pots (Dutch ovens) for baking bread now. There’s no better way to capture the steam from the dough, giving the best oven spring in a domestic oven. I love baking soda farls on a cast iron griddle, too: easily the quickest bread you can make.

    Liked by 1 person

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