Whole Grain Irish Soda Bread

Irish soda bread with honey

Serve Irish soda bread with a good drizzle of buckwheat honey and plenty of unsalted butter.


With St. Patrick’s Day comes Irish soda bread. Heavy loaves fresh from the oven win over hearts – even non-Irish ones. Who could resist?  Moist crumbs cling to your teeth with a pleasant starchy paste.

Douse your Irish soda bread in a spot of hot tea. Only strong tea like Irish Breakfast brewed to a deep black with a splash of cold milk will do.

Why limit the joy to just St. Patrick’s Day? Irish soda bread is tasty enough to eat year round. Just be sure to eat your bread straight from the oven or sure as yesterday’s crop of shamrocks, the glory will fade.

My Irish soda bread has non-traditional healthy add-ins like flaxseed meal and chia seeds. Still, the loaf has an Old World hearty grain taste. This is my much changed version of the Irish Soda Bread recipe from British book — Bread: the Breads of the World and How to Bake Them at Home by Christine Ingram and Jennie Shapter published by Hermes House.


Fresh loaf of Irish soda bread.

Who could resist a fresh loaf of Irish soda bread smoldering with earthy baked flavor?


Whole Grain Irish Soda Bread



13/4 cups buttermilk
½ cup dark raisins
1 3/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons golden flax seed meal
2 tablespoons oat bran
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
Pinch salt
¼ cup butter, cold
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons butter,  room temperature
2 tablespoons chia seeds


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Measure buttermilk into a medium-sized mixing bowl. Mix raisins into the buttermilk and set aside.

Sift whole wheat pastry flour, all-purpose flour, golden flax seed meal, oat bran, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt together in a bowl. Rub in cold butter until only small bits of butter remain. Form a well in the center of the flour mixture, and pour in the buttermilk-raisin mixture. Stir the wet-dry ingredient mixture just enough to form a ball of dough. Do not overwork dough. Turn onto a lightly floured surface. Spread dough ball with soft butter and smooth out with your hands. Top with chia seeds. Place on lightly greased baking sheet. Using a large serrated bread knife, make two deep cuts like a cross into the round dough .

Bake 45 minutes or until knife comes out clean. Eat right from the oven. Leftover Irish soda bread has a stale crumb.



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