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Soda bread made with cake flour, whiskey-soaked raisins, buttermilk, and orange zest.
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3.25 from 4 votes

Soda Bread with Raisins and Orange Zest | #BreadBakers

Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 30 mins
Course: Bread
Cuisine: Irish
Servings: 1 loaf
Author: Susan Pridmore


  • 1 ½ cup dark raisins
  • ¾ cup whiskey
  • 3 ½ cups 15.75 ounces cake flour (3 1/3 cups (14.9 ounces) at High Altitude Baking (HAB) ~ 6500 ft)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda 1 teaspoon for HAB
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt or 1 ½ table salt
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • Zest of 1 navel orange
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1 ¼ cups buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup light sour cream ½ cup for HAB


  • Combine the raisins and whiskey together in a small bowl, and let soak for at least 30 minutes.
  • Place a pizza stone on the middle rack of your oven, and preheat to 350˚ F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, brown sugar, and orange zest in a medium bowl.
  • Work in the butter by hand, by rubbing the butter into the flour mixture between your fingers. There's not enough butter for a pastry blender to be effective.
  • Form a well in the flour. Whisk together the buttermilk and sour cream in a measuring cup, and pour into the well. Drain the raisins, and add to the buttermilk.
  • Fold the flour into the buttermilk and raisins using a spatula. “Knead” the bread in the bowl with the spatula by sweeping the spatula around the bowl, under the dough, and flipping the dough in the bowl. Continue until the flour is completely incorporated in the liquid, and knead a few more times.
  • Flip the dough onto the prepared baking sheet, and roughly shape into a round.
  • Slash a cross on the top using a blade.
  • Bake for 50 - 60 minutes, or until a probe inserted into the middle reads 195 - 200˚ F. Cool on a rack before slicing. Serve with butter, jam (fig jam is fabulous with it), or apple butter.