St. Patrick’s Day is almost here! Since St. Patrick is a favorite in our household (my husband’s name is Patrick) we always celebrate with Guinness and homemade Irish Soda bread. This year, since my DH has a gig on St. Patrick’s Day (he’s an accomplished singer and musician), I want to have everything prepared ahead of time. I received this recipe from my dad, whose Irish grandparents settled in NYC and South Boston (an Irish neighborhood), and I make it every year in his honor.

It’s no coincidence that some of the former Green Berets in my Deadly Forces Series are from South Boston. And I suspect that on St. Patrick’s Day they’ll be celebrating with my dad’s Irish Soda bread, pints of Guinness, and watching Savannah’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade from the roof of Iron Rack’s, the run-down, pirate-themed gym that they use as a cover for their covert activities. 🙂

Irish Soda Bread

This is my father's recipe and I make it every year for St. Patrick's Day. I love it with a cup of tea. My husband enjoys it with his corned beef and Guinness. But my kids hate raisins so when they're home, I make two breads. One with raisins and one without!

Course Bread
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 85 kcal


  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 cup salted butter
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 2 teaspoons caraway seeds
  • 3 Tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • Extra milk for brushing on top


  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a 9" pie pan.

  2. In a large bowl, sift flour with the next four ingredients. Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles a coarse grain.

  3. Stir in raisins and caraway seeds.

  4. In a small bowl, mix together the milk and the cider vinegar to make a buttermilk. Let the mixture sit for 5 minutes.

  5. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Pour in the buttermilk and stir vigorously with a fork until all the dry ingredients are moistened.

  6. Turn the dough out onto a floured counter and knead at least ten times, no more than fifteen. Form into a round ball and place on the greased pie pan. Cut a cross in the top of the dough, cutting side-to-side over the top. Brush milk over the top of the bread and bake for 15 minutes. Then lower the temperature to 375 degrees F and bake for an additional 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

  7. Cool for at least 1 hour before serving.


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