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Photo Credit: Robin Selden for Marcia Selden Catering

Irish Soda Bread with Dried Cherries, Golden Raisins and Fennel

Traditional Irish Soda Bread is textured, cakelike and served up with some corned beef on St. Patrick’s Day.  Some think our version is HEAVEN!


  • 3 C All-Purpose Flour
  • ¼ C Light Brown Sugar, packed
  • 3 t Baking Powder
  • 4 T cold, unsalted Butter, cut into pieces
  • ¾ C Golden Raisins, plus extra for dough
  • ¾ C Dried Cherries, plus extra for dough



Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Give it a few pulses, then add the butter pieces; pulse until butter is incorporated and small crumbs are formed. Pour the flour/butter mixture into a large bowl and make a well in the center. Add buttermilk, egg and egg yolk and stir just until moistened. Then stir in the ¾ cup raisins, ¾ cup cherries and 1 t fennel seeds. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently 5-10 times. Knead just until the dough comes together and is smooth. Divide dough in half and shape each half into a round.  Press a few extra raisins and cherries into the tops of the loaves. Dust the tops of the rounds lightly with a little flour.

Transfer rounds to prepared baking sheet, leaving about three inches between them. Place another baking sheet of the same size underneath to prevent burning. With a knife, score the tops with a large X about ½ inch deep.

Bake until dark brown and crusty, about 35-40 minutes. The loaf will sound hollow when tapped on the side. You can store the bread wrapped in plastic at room temperature or freeze it for up to 2 months.