Chef John's Irish Soda Bread


  • 3 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • ¼ cup rolled oats
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • ¼ cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
  • 1 ¾ cups buttermilk
  • 1large egg
  • 2 tablespoons honey, or more to taste
  • 2 teaspoons grated orange zest
  • 1 cup dried currants
  • ⅓ cup golden raisins
  • Directions

  • Step 1

    Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat.


  • Step 2

    Whisk all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, oats, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together in a bowl. Cut butter into flour mixture using a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal.

  • Step 3

    Beat buttermilk, egg, honey, and orange zest together in a bowl. Pour buttermilk mixture, currants, and raisins into flour mixture; stir with a wooden spoon until a wet, sticky dough comes together.

  • Step 4

    Turn dough out onto a well-floured work surface; press dough together into a soft ball of dough and cut into 2 pieces. Form each half into a smooth, round loaf. Transfer to prepared baking sheet and let rest for 15 minutes. Cut a 1/2-inch deep “X” into the top of each loaf with a serrated knife.

  • Step 5

    Bake in the preheated oven until golden brown and fragrant, about 45 minutes. Transfer loaves to a wire rack to cool completely before slicing.

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