Try this classic yeast-free bread with soup or stew this St. Patrick’s Day! This recipe makes two loaves in your air fryer in under an hour. Air Fryer Irish Soda Bread is easy, quick and absolutely delicious!
It’s that time of the year to bring out all the Irish recipes. My grandma, who was proud of her Irish heritage, loved this time year. Making these recipes always reminds me of her.
Irish Soda Bread is flavorful and dense bread. It reminds me of eating a biscuit. It uses baking soda and buttermilk as leavening agents instead of yeast.
Did I mention how easy it is to make and that you can make it in your air fryer? This quick bread is ready to enjoy in minutes! I will sometimes whip up a loaf when I’m craving homemade bread. It doesn’t matter what time of year it is. I’ll make it whenever.
Why You’ll Love Air Fryer Irish Soda Bread
- Easy to make in under 1 hour in your air fryer
- No yeast required and no waiting around for dough to rise
- Perfect to serve to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day
- One of the easiest bread recipes you’ll ever make
- Made with basic pantry ingredients
- Tastes delicious paired with your favorite Irish stew
- All-purpose flour
- Brown sugar – Adds a hint of sweetness.
- Baking soda
- Butter – Use salted or unsalted butter – whatever you have on hand.
- Golden raisins
- Dried cranberries
How to Make Easy Irish Soda Bread
- Step One: Add flour, brown sugar, baking soda and salt to a large bowl and whisk together.
- Step Two: Using a pastry blender or your clean hands, work the butter into the flour mixture until coarse. Stir in raisins and dried cranberries.
- Step Three: Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Add in the beaten egg and buttermilk and mix well with a wooden spoon. The dough should become stiff, but still slightly sticky.
- Step Four: Transfer the dough to a floured surface and split in half. Shape into two round loaves.
- Step Five: Transfer the dough into lightly greased 7-inch cake pans. Using a sharp knife, score the top of each loaf with an “X” on top.
- Step Six: Preheat the air fryer to 320°F. Add one cake pan to the air fryer basket. Air fry each round loaf one at a time for 20 to 25 minutes. To check for doneness, insert a toothpick into the center of the loaf. If it comes out clean, then it’s done.
- Step Seven: Remove from cake pans and let rest on a wire rack for 5 minutes before slicing with a serrated knife.
- Step Eight: Serve the bread warm or at room temperature.
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What to Serve with Sweet Irish Soda Bread Recipe
- Irish Potatoes
- Shamrock Shake
- St. Patrick’s Day Truffle
- Corned Beef
- A hearty soup like Irish Guinness Beef Stew or Cabbage Roll Soup
- Classic Irish Coffee
- Green Beer
Substitutions and Variations
- Substitute whole wheat flour for the all-purpose flour to make a Whole Wheat Irish Soda Bread.
- Substitute granulated sugar for the brown sugar.
- You can leave out the golden raisins and cranberries or just include one or the other.
- Add 2 teaspoons of caraway seeds instead of the raisins and cranberries.
- Add 1 teaspoon of grated orange zest for a hint of citrus.
How to Make Your Own Buttermilk
Do not skip adding the buttermilk to this recipe. It’s a leavening agent that reacts with the baking soda.
The good news is that it’s easy to make a buttermilk substitution.
Add two tablespoons of lemon juice or white vinegar to 1 ¾ cup of regular milk. Stir and let it sit for a few minutes. Easy!
For best results, enjoy the bread freshly baked on the same day you make it. I don’t recommend storing it in the fridge.
Can You Freeze?
Yes, you can freeze Irish soda bread. Wrap it several times with plastic wrap and then cover it in foil. Store it in the freezer for up to 2 months.
History of Irish Soda Bread
I was surprised to learn that the Irish weren’t the first to actually discover this classic recipe. According to the article, Inside the Origin of Irish Soda Bread, Indigenous Americans were the first to make soda bread using pearl ash to leaven their bread.
Irish Soda Bread gained popularity in Ireland in the 1830s as it was plentiful there and also an affordable alternative during a period of tough financial times. It quickly became a staple and something the country was known for from then on.
How Does Irish Soda Bread Rise?
A regular yeasted bread needs yeast to rise into a light fluffy loaf. Soda Bread, on the other hand, contains no yeast. So how does it rise?
Simple. The baking soda and buttermilk combine to form a chemical reaction that creates carbon dioxde which allows the bread to rise. The gas becomes trapped in the dough as it cooks and you get a beautiful loaf of bread when it’s all done.
Why Do You Cut the Top of the Bread?
The main reason is a practical one. You need to put an X at the top of the bread to allow the heat to penetrate the thickest part of the dough. No one wants a doughy uncooked center!
How to Tell When Irish Soda Bread is Done
There are a couple ways to tell if your Irish Soda Bread is finished baking.
Look at the X at the top of the dough. Is it wet looking? If so, it needs more time.
You can also insert a cake tester into the center of the bread. If it comes out clean, it’s done cooking. The outside of the loaf should be a nice golden brown.
It should also make a hollow sound when you tap the bottom of the bread.
How to Serve
- Serve with butter, jam, honey or marmalade for breakfast or a quick snack.
- Enjoy with your favourite soup or stew for dipping.
- Add a side dish to your family meal. It pairs awesome with meat.
Air Fryer Recipes
If you make the recipe, rate it on the recipe card below and tag me on Instagram and use #simplystacie. I like sharing the photos on my Instagram stories!
Air Fryer Irish Soda Bread
- 4 ½ cups all-purpose flour plus extra for dusting
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 6 tbsp butter slightly softened
- ½ cup golden raisins
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- 1 egg beaten
- 1 ¾ cup buttermilk
- Add flour, brown sugar, baking soda and salt to a large mixing bowl and whisk together.
- Using a pastry blender or your clean hands, work the butter into the flour mixture until coarse. Stir in raisins and dried cranberries.
- Make a well in the center of the flour mixture. Add in the beaten egg and buttermilk and mix well with a wooden spoon. The dough should become stiff, but still slightly sticky.
- Transfer the dough to a floured surface and split in half. Shape into two round loaves.
- Transfer the dough into lightly greased 7-inch cake pans. Using a sharp knife, score each dough with an "X" on top.
- Preheat the air fryer to 320°F. Air fry each round one at a time for 20 to 25 minutes. To check for doneness, insert a toothpick into the center of the loaf. If it comes out clean, then it's done.
- Remove from cake pans and let rest on the cooling rack for 5 minutes before slicing.
- Serve the bread warm or at room temperature.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.