deluxe irish soda bread

★★★★★ 4 Reviews
bakermom2 avatar
By Linda Mericle
from Garden Grove, CA

St. Patrick's Day without Irish Soda bread is just not going to happen around this house. Not if my boys have any say. This is a hearty version with some whole wheat and ground oats. Then to snazz it up, rum-soaked raisins! I cut it like a pie and serve it with the corned beef dinner or shepherd's pie. Slather with butter or eat plain.

Blue Ribbon Recipe

Not your ordinary Irish soda bread recipe, this is deluxe indeed. The orange and rum raisins really shine in this easy bread. We used the orange zest from two large oranges and it still had a lovely orange essence. Candied orange peel would just amp the orange flavor. Fluffy and moist with a hint of sweetness, we could make this every St. Patrick's Day.

— The Test Kitchen @kitchencrew
★★★★★ 4 Reviews
serves 10-12
prep time 25 Min
cook time 35 Min
method Bake

Ingredients For deluxe irish soda bread

  • 2 c
    allpurpose flour
  • 1 c
    whole wheat flour (any kind)
  • 1 c
    old-fashioned oats, lightly ground
  • 4 tsp
    baking powder
  • 1 tsp
    baking soda
  • 1/4 c
    white sugar
  • 1/4 c
    brown sugar
  • 1 tsp
    salt
  • 1/2 c
    butter
  • 1 c
    raisins
  • 1/4 c
    rum (I use Meyers)
  • 3/4 c
    candied orange peel
  • 1 1/4 c
    buttermilk (or slightly more as needed)

How To Make deluxe irish soda bread

  • Soaking raisins.
    1
    First, set your raisins to soak. If you do not want raisins and orange peel, or just want plain raisins, just skip this step. In a Ziploc baggie, put the raisins and rum to soak. Set aside. Dice up the orange peel and set aside (or zest some orange peel if you don't have candied).
  • Preparing pie plates.
    2
    Preheat the oven to 375. I use 2 pie tins lined with parchment for the loaves. (I have tried freeform but it spreads a little too much for my taste).
  • Dry ingredients in a bowl.
    3
    I like to pulse my oats in the food processor about 6-8 times. So do that next. To the same bowl, add the other dry ingredients (not the fruit). Pulse a couple of times to blend.
  • Cutting cold butter into dry ingredients.
    4
    Dice your cube of butter and add to the dry ingredients. Pulse about 6-8 times until it is small bits in the flour mixture. If you do not use a food processor, use a pastry cutter to cut the butter into the dry ingredients. Pour all this into a large mixing bowl.
  • Raisins and orange added to the dry ingredients.
    5
    Now you can add your raisins, rum and all, and the candied orange peel. Mix in thoroughly to the dry ingredients.
  • Formed dough on a floured surface.
    6
    Pour the buttermilk in and mix either with a danish whisk or a wooden spoon. Mix it until it is a whole cohesive mass. Like biscuits and scones, you do not want to over mix. If it looks too dry, drizzle in more buttermilk until it comes together. Put some flour onto a counter or cutting board. Flip the dough out onto the floured surface. Knead a few times, just 3 or 4 turns, adding fingers full of flour as needed if it is too sticky. It should be tacky, but not too goopy. Only knead enough to bring it together and give it shape.
  • Dough formed into two rounds.
    7
    Here is where I cut the dough in half to make 2 smaller loaves and I will tell you why. I have made this many times and it says it makes 1 loaf. But what happens is the outsides get very done and the middle is still doughy. I end up cutting out the middle and end up with an Irish donut! So now I cut the dough in half and shape each into a nice round. Place each round into the parchment-lined pie pan. Cut a large cross on top, about 1/2 inch deep or so. I sometimes sprinkle a little flour or sugar over the top. Place both pans onto a cookie sheet and put them in the preheated oven.
  • Irish soda bread baking in the oven.
    8
    Set the time for 30 minutes. Check the loaves. Make sure s straw or thin whatever inserted in comes out clean. It will probably have to go back in for another 5-8 minutes or even more, depending on your oven. I always use an instant-read thermometer and bake it until it is approx. 180 degrees. Usually, that means putting it back in the oven a couple of times.
  • Irish Soda Bread baked until golden brown.
    9
    It should have some browning on top and not look wet in the cross part. Let cool in pans for 5 minutes, then set on wire racks. It tastes even better the next day.
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