This easy Skillet Soda Bread recipe is made with just 6 ingredients! This slightly sweet, spongy, traditional quick bread dotted with raisins is perfect to pair with any meal, and great for St. Patrick’s Day!
If you love easy bread recipes that bake up in a skillet, try my Rosemary and Garlic No-Knead Skillet Bread, too!
No-Knead Irish Soda Bread, Made in a Skillet!
St. Patrick’s Day is a time for Irish Martinis, Bailey’s Buttercream Brownies, and green beer to wash it all down. And if you’re looking for an easy, classic Irish soda bread to make this year, this is it!
This sweet and light soda bread recipe is perfect for the bread lover who’s maybe not the savviest baker. There’s no kneading and no rising time. No fussing. Just a stir, a bit of shaping, and bake. 5 minutes of work for a fresh loaf? GIMME!
There’s something so comforting about homemade soda bread. It doesn’t matter the season or the occasion, I’ll always crave it. It’s as though this bread has magical powers. Scratch that, my skillet soda bread does have magic powers – and I believe they’re called carbs.
What Is Special About Soda Bread?
So, no, soda bread isn’t made with a soft drink! Traditional Irish soda bread actually gets its name from the fact that it’s made with baking soda for leavening, instead of yeast. The baking soda reacts with buttermilk to make a perfectly fluffy and moist bread loaf.
The original quick bread is made without eggs, butter, and sugar, too! Yeesh. For the sake of practicality, I’ve brought some of these ingredients back into this soda bread recipe. We’re making user-friendly, delicious soda bread that tastes just as sweet and spongy as the original!
What You’ll Need
You only need 6 ingredients to make the perfect skillet bread. Don’t forget to scroll to the recipe card for the full ingredient amounts:
- Flour and Sugar: All-purpose flour is perfect, as is white granulated sugar. Avoid self-rising flour when making soda bread from scratch, as this kind of flour has leavening agents like baking soda in it already.
- Baking Soda and Salt: Baking soda is the key ingredient in this skillet bread recipe. This is what helps the bread to rise in place of yeast. You’ll also want to mix in a pinch of salt to enhance the flavors.
- Eggs: Adding eggs gives the bread structure and extra richness as it bakes up in the skillet.
- Buttermilk: The acidity in the buttermilk reacts with baking soda to help this bread rise. If you don’t have buttermilk, never fear. It’s easy enough to make your own, see below.
- Raisins: I add raisins to this recipe, but this is totally optional. It depends on if you prefer a sweeter or more savory soda bread.
What If I Don’t Have Buttermilk?
No buttermilk? No worries! It just so happens that homemade buttermilk is incredibly simple to make. Here’s a quick rundown of how to make your own buttermilk in a pinch:
- Add 3 tablespoons of white vinegar (or lemon juice) to a large measuring cup.
- Add enough milk to measure 2 cups. Stir.
- Let the mixture sit for 10-15 minutes to curdle. Use what you need and refrigerate the rest!
How to Make Soda Bread in a Skillet
While your oven preheats to 350ºF, get an oven-safe skillet lined with parchment paper. Then, the dough comes together easily in just 5 minutes:
- Mix the Dry and Wet Ingredients: First, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, mix the buttermilk and eggs until combined.
- Combine Wet and Dry Ingredients: Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients, then add the buttermilk mixture. Use a wooden spoon to stir everything together, and be careful you don’t overmix! Finally, stir in the raisins.
- Bake: Transfer the dough to a parchment-lined cast iron skillet. Bake your soda bread in a 350ºF oven for 50 minutes, or until the top of the bread is golden.
You’ll want to leave the bread to cool in the skillet for a few minutes once it’s out of the oven. Afterward, transfer the loaf to a wire rack and give it a bit more time to rest.
Tips for Success
You’ll be a skillet bread wizard by the time you’ve made this recipe! Here are my bonus tips for a perfect loaf, every time:
- Use fresh baking soda. Check the dates on your baking soda before you start, making sure it’s not expired, or over 6-12 months old. The fresher the better!
- Don’t overmix the dough. Whatever you do, don’t overmix the dough ingredients – this can “deflate” the air pockets in the dough, resulting in a dense, low, chewy loaf.
- If your soda bread comes out dry. This could be because you added too much baking soda or not enough buttermilk. It could also be because your oven isn’t hot enough. Be sure you’re budgeting enough time for it to preheat.
- Skip the raisins. I’ve heard from a few sources that soda bread with raisins is the “Americanized” version, made sweeter than the original. Whenever I’m craving soda bread for snacking, I’ll add raisins. And if I know I’ll be pairing it with warm soup or stew, I’ll sometimes ditch the raisins and go the more authentic route. The choice is yours!
What Do You Eat Soda Bread With?
A warm slice of soda bread is delicious on its own, smeared with butter or jam. It’s also perfect to eat with soups, stews, and chilis. Try it alongside a bowlful of Cabbage Soup or Irish Guinness Beef Stew. There’s nothing more comforting!
I’ll even lightly toast slices of soda bread to serve at breakfast with Corned Beef Hash and Eggs.
How to Store Irish Soda Bread
Store your homemade bread airtight at room temperature, either tightly wrapped or in a container. Soda bread (like other homemade bread) tends to dry out quickly, so it’s best to enjoy it the first day or two after baking. Soda bread will still last up to 3-4 days when stored properly, but it won’t be as fresh.
Can I Freeze Soda Bread?
Freezing is a great option to keep soda bread fresher for longer. Wrap the bread loaf tightly in plastic wrap, plus a layer of foil, and keep it frozen for up to 2 months. Thaw the bread at room temperature before serving.
Skillet Soda Bread Recipe
- 4 cups all purpose flour
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1-3/4 cups buttermilk
- 1-1/2 cups raisins (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Line a 10-inch cast iron skillet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Combine flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl; whisk until thoroughly combined.
- In a separate bowl whisk together eggs and buttermilk.
- Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the buttermilk mixture; stir with a wooden spoon just until combined. DO NOT overmix.
- Stir in the raisins.
- Transfer prepared dough to lined skillet.
- Score a cross on top of the dough before baking.
- Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Remove from oven; let bread sit in skillet for 5 minutes.
- Remove to a rack to cool briefly.
- Serve warm.
Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.