Spotted Dog Soda Bread

By on February 2, 2018

No St. Patrick’s Day is Complete Without this Famous Dish.


  • 3 2/3 cup all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 tsp baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp superfine (caster) or granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup golden raisins (sultanas), raisins, or dried currants (or a mixture)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 2/3 cup buttermilk or soured milk


  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Lightly dust a baking sheet with flour.
  2. Sift the flour, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. Stir in the sugar and dried fruit.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat together the egg and buttermilk. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour most of the buttermilk mixture (leaving about ¼ cup in the bowl).
  4. Using one hand with your fingers outstretched like a claw, bring the flour and liquid together moving your hand in circles around the bowl, adding a little more of the buttermilk mixture, if necessary. Don’t knead the mixture, or it will become too heavy. The dough should be soft, but not too wet and sticky.
  5. Once it comes together, turn onto a floured work surface and bring together a little more. Pat the dough into a round, about 2½ inches (6cm) in height, and cut a deep cross in it, from one side of the loaf to the other. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet.
  6. Bake for 10 minutes, then decrease the oven temperature to 400°F (200°C/Gas mark 6), and bake for another 30 to 35 minutes, until the bread is golden and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. I often turn the loaf upside down for the last 5 minutes of baking to help crisp the bottom. Allow to cool on a wire rack before cutting into thick slices to serve.

Recipe courtesy of Rachel Allen for