Soda Bread with Port-Soaked Raisins

[Photograph: Sydney Oland]

About the author: Sydney Oland lives in Somerville, Mass. Find more information at (or read

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Soda Bread with Port-Soaked Raisins

About This Recipe

Yield:Makes 1 loaf
Active time:10 minutes
Total time:40 minutes
Special equipment:Baking sheet
This recipe appears in: British Bites: Soda Bread with Port-Soaked Raisins


  • 1/2 cup ruby port
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 4 cups (about 20 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) cold butter, cut into small cubes, divided
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) buttermilk


  1. 1

    Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat to 400°F. Place port and raisins in a microwavable dish and microwave on high for 1 minute; remove from microwave and mix, then microwave until steaming hot, about 1 minute longer. Remove from microwave and let rest on the counter.

  2. 2

    In a large bowl whisk together flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda. Using your fingers, mix 5 tablespoons of butter into flour mixture until mixture resembles a coarse meal. In a medium bowl, whisk egg and buttermilk together until homogenous. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add buttermilk mixture. Drain raisins and add to well. Using a wooden spoon, mix until a wet dough forms.

  3. 3

    Turn out dough onto a floured surface and knead for two minutes. Form dough into a 10-inch round. Grease a baking sheet using remaining butter. Place round on the baking sheet and dust with flour, then using a sharp knife or serrated bread knife, make an ‘X’ over the top of the loaf.

  4. 4

    Bake until soda bread is brown and cooked through, about 25 minutes. Allow to rest at least 5 minutes before slicing and serving.


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