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Mini Irish Soda Bread

This traditional Irish soda bread is easy to make and requires just a few simple ingredients. Made without yeast, this quick bread recipe yields one small loaf. With a perfectly tender crumb and a wonderful golden crust, this soda bread pairs well with soups, chilis, stews, or alone with butter.

Irish soda bread on a plate

There are many versions of Irish soda bread and everyone seems to have their favorite.

Some folks say it's not authentic if the bread doesn't have currents or caraway seeds. Others say it shouldn't be sweet, while others want it sweeter.

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Any way you slice it, Irish soda bread has fans in all corners and today I'm sharing with you a scaled down version of my family's Irish soda bread recipe.

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What Is Irish Soda Bread?

Irish soda bread is a quick bread that does not require any yeast.

The essential ingredients in a traditional Irish soda bread recipe are flour, buttermilk, baking soda, and salt.

The baking soda is used as a leavening agent instead of yeast and the acid in the buttermilk reacts with the base of the baking soda to help the bread rise.

Pro Tip: If you don’t have buttermilk, the closest substitute would be a little dairy with a touch of acidity added. To make ½ cup of buttermilk, measure ½ cup milk (112 milliliters) and add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar. Let sit for 10 minutes at room temperature before using.

Traditionally, before baking a cross would be cut on the top of the bread. This cross was said to symbolize a blessing of the bread and to protect the household. In reality, scoring the dough helps the heat reach the center of the loaf as it bakes.

Although soda bread is not a sweet bread, I've chosen to add a small amount of sugar to my recipe. You will find that the amount of sugar I add does not sweeten the bread too much, it just gives it a hint of sweetness.

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Ingredients

See recipe box below for ingredient amounts and complete recipe instructions.

  • all purpose flour
  • sugar
  • salt
  • baking soda
  • cold butter
  • raisins
  • egg yolk
  • buttermilk

How To Make Irish Soda Bread

Follow these easy steps to make the best soda bread...

Step 1

Mix together flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda.

Step 2

Work the butter into the flour until it resembles coarse crumbs; then add raisins.

Flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, and raisins mixed together in a large bowl

Step 3

In a small bowl, whisk together an egg yolk and buttermilk; then pour into the dry mixture and stir to combine.

Egg yolk and buttermilk added to the mixture in the large bowl

Step 4

Very lightly knead the dough and form a small circle with the dough.

Irish soda bread dough sitting on a cutting board next to a knife

Step 5

Using a sharp knife, score a large "X" about 1/2-inch deep across the dough.

Scoring a cross with a knife into the dough of irish soda bread on a cutting board

Step 6

Bake the soda bread for 40 minutes.

A hand holding a piece of irish soda bread

How To Store

Leftover soda bread can be cooled completely, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, and stored at room temperature for up to 3 days.

It freezes well, up to 3 months. Just thaw and reheat.

How To Eat

There are many ways to eat Irish soda bread but the most popular way is with butter. Adding jam or jelly makes this bread a great choice for breakfast.

Irish Soda Bread can also be served with soups or stews. You might like to consider serving it with any of these single serving soup and stew recipes:

Soda bread also makes a great addition to any main dish salad:

When sliced, it also makes a great sandwich bread.

This mini Irish soda bread recipe will yield 1 small loaf and is about a quarter of the size of a standard soda bread loaf.

What To Do With Leftover Ingredients?

If you have any leftover ingredients from this recipe, consider these ideas:

Buttermilk freezes well. My preferred method is to freeze the buttermilk in 1 tablespoon portions in an ice cube tray. Once frozen, the cubes can be stored in a zip-topped freezer bag. Since they are already measured, just pull out the amount you need, thaw and use.

You might like to use the raisins in any of these small batch recipes:

Since this recipe calls for using an egg yolk. Store the egg white in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It should be used within 3 days. You might like to use the leftover egg white in any of these small batch recipes:

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Spreading butter over a piece of irish soda bread with the rest of the soda bread shown in the background

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Mini Irish Soda Bread | One Dish Kitchen

Mini Irish Soda Bread

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Cooling TIme: 10 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Course: Bread
Cuisine: Irish
Keywords: bread
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 203kcal
Author: Joanie Zisk

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon cold butter
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk

Instructions

  • Heat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
  • Whisk flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda together in a medium-sized mixing bowl.
  • Cut the butter into small pieces and work the butter into the flour using your fingers or a fork until it resembles coarse crumbs. 
    Stir in the raisins.
    Ingredients in Irish Soda Bread | One Dish Kitchen
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolk and buttermilk. Pour into the dry ingredients and mix with a spoon until just combined.
    Making Irish Soda Bread | One Dish Kitchen
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead very lightly and form a 4-inch circle. (Add a little more flour to the dough if the dough becomes too sticky to handle). Do not over-knead!
    Irish Soda Bread Dough | One Dish Kitchen
  • Using a serrated knife, score top of dough about an inch and half deep in an "X" shape.
    Making an "X" on Irish Soda Bread Dough | One Dish Kitchen
  • Place dough on a baking sheet and bake until bread is golden, about 35-40 minutes.
    HINT: If the top of the bread is getting too dark while baking, place a sheet of aluminum foil over the top.
  • Serve bread warm or at room temperature.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 203kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 56mg | Sodium: 275mg | Potassium: 148mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 200IU | Vitamin C: 0.5mg | Calcium: 47mg | Iron: 1.8mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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About The Author

20 thoughts on “Mini Irish Soda Bread”

  1. 5 stars
    I’m going to recommend a scraper for folks who are having a ticking problems. Scrapers are light years better than hands for easily handling these soft doughs. I don’t think this should be a hard form batter. I did have to throw down some flour when doing the knead but with a scraper, I had no problems. Just a hint- you will love it for other things too!

    I added a little rye and caraway to my dough and my Dad and husband used it for biscuity reubens!

  2. I just tried this recipe and the dough was so soft (almost liquid) that it could not be turned out onto a work surface or much less kneaded. I have checked and rechecked my recipe and the ONLY thing that I did wrong was add too many raisins but that shouldn’t have caused the dough to be too soft. Has anyone else had this problem?

    1. Hi Betsy,

      It sounds like you may have needed to add a little more flour to your work surface and possibly a little more to the dough itself (see step 5).

  3. Alexandra Martello

    This was so good and super simple! I didn’t add sugar and in place of raisins I added a few small cubes of cheddar cheese.

  4. Could I use almond flour instead of AP flour, use monkfruit sweetener instead of sugar, and substitute the buttermilk to make it low carb/keto?

    1. Hi Darlene,

      I haven’t tested the recipe using those substitutions, so I’m not totally sure how they would work. If you do make the recipe with the subs, please let me know how they worked for you.

      Joanie

  5. I followed everything to a T and the dough was so sticky. At least a third stuck to my counter and hands. What happened? I loved the simplicity of this recipe but not the gorilla glue effect. Help!

    1. Hi Allison,
      It sounds like you might have needed to add a little more flour to the dough as I suggest in step 5 of the recipe. This would make the dough easier to handle.

      Joanie

  6. 5 stars
    I made this and it was amazing. Moist, delicious, soft, so good. I used real buttermilk and craisins, worth it. Will make using a buttermilk substitute.

  7. 4 stars
    I’ve just baked your mini loaf. This is how it turned out but it’s not cool enough to cut into. I am thinking they are a nice size to make when going to see a friend for lunch or tea/coffee. I did put sugar in it.

    I haven’t tasted it yet so I can’t fill in the 5 the star.

    I took a photo of it but can’t attach it here – however it looks lovely.

    Karen

  8. Lynette a, Miller

    Hi my name is ms, Lynette a, miller and i was just wonding if you have a cookbook i have all ready try,ed your recipe,s and the one,s that i have try,ed are really good and again i was just wonding ok you for your time Ms , Lynette A Miller at millerlynette6@gmail.com

    1. Hi Lynette, thank you for your kind words. Yes, we do have a cookbook that we are working on right now and will be published on December 3,2019. We’re so excited about it. It is currently up for presale on Amazon and should be in all major bookstores when it is published. Here is a link to the book on Amazon so you can read more about it – https://amzn.to/2J0DJ2R
      Thanks so much for asking about it and have a wonderful day.
      Joanie

  9. Hi Joanie, regarding making buttermilk, most websites say to use just 1 tbsp to make 1 cup. Yours calls for a double amount of the vinegar… is it exclusively for this recipe? Thank you.

    1. Hi Cynthia, I’ve always used roughly 1 tablespoon or the squeeze of half a lemon in 1/2 cup milk. That is what I recommend for this recipe.

      1. 5 stars
        Hi Joanie, it turned out very well! I used a mix of dates and raisins. Very Delicious. Thanks!

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