Naturally Sweetened Irish Soda Bread

Serves 6 – 8

Traditional Irish soda bread is made plain, without sugar or raisins. I enjoy mine with raisins for a bit of natural sweetness; however feel free to leave them out.


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup currants or raisins (dark or golden)


Preheat oven to 450°F. Lightly oil a baking sheet and sprinkle with a little flour; or line with parchment paper.

Whisk whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and pour in buttermilk. Use your hand to mix the dough. Spread your fingers and mix in a circular motion to keep the dough light and airy; mix just until it holds together.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, shape it into a round, and transfer on to the baking sheet. Make the round of dough no thicker than 1-1/2 inches in the center.

Using a small sharp knife, cut a 1/2-inch deep X into the top of the loaf extending almost to edges.

Bake for 15 minutes at 450°F; and then lower the oven temperature to 400°F. Continue baking until bread is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom, another 15 – 20 minutes.

Cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before turning bread out onto a wire rack. Then cool to room temperature, about 2 hours, before slicing and serving.

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Lorraine Matthews-Antosiewicz, MS, RD

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