American-Style Soda Bread with Raisins and Caraway Seeds

Today, in 1955, something happened that would alter the course of human history (or at least Hammer history) for the nerdier.

Scrabble was invented!


This is the last soda bread in the book before I start the muffin series (yes!) I had never put caraway in anything before, and to a non-foodie like me it smells like a grandpa’s cologne, but tastes different, like a fresh hamburger onion.

American-Style Soda Bread with Raisins and Caraway Seeds

Baking Illustrated

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for work surface
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoons caraway seeds
  • 1 cup raisins (I didn’t have any and of the opinion that raisins ruin things)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, plus 1 tablespoon melted for crust)
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk


  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees with a rack in the upper-middle position.
  2. Stir together the flours, sugar, baking soda, cream of tartar, salt and caraway seeds. Add the butter and toss with a fork to coat with the flour mixture. Mix on medium-low speed until the texture resembles coarse cornmeal, with the butter pieces no larger than small peas. Add raisins and stir until combined.
  3. In a 2 cup measuring cup, lightly beat egg and buttermilk together.
  4. Add this mixture to the flour mixture and hand stir with a fork until the dough just begins to come together. Turn out onto a floured work surface and knead until the dough just becomes cohesive and bumpy, about 12-14 turns. Do not knead too much, the dread will be tough.
  5. Pat dough into a 6-inch, 2-inch high round and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.  Using small sharp knife dipped into flour, cut 3/4-inch-deep X in top center of dough. Bake for 40 to 25 minutes, until golden brown and the internal temperature reaches 170 degrees. Remove from the oven and brush with butter. Cool on wire rack to room temperature, about 30 to 45 minutes.

This and the oatmeal soda bread are my two favorites from the soda bread series. This I would give 3.5 stars, mostly because it is difficult to pair with food and doesn’t taste good enough on its own to want to sit down and eat a whole loaf, not that I do that with any of my loaves! I maintain, contrary to the Wheat Belly story on the Colbert report, that wheat is not addictive. I don’t think I need to cut down or anything, though I could if I wanted to; I just need a piece of toast or a muffin to get out of bed in the morning.


5 thoughts on “American-Style Soda Bread with Raisins and Caraway Seeds

    1. Actually, when I woke up in the morning, the photographed message is what Izzy put together to let me know it was the anniversary of Scrabble. I was mildly impressed.

    1. You should try it! I recommend the oatmeal recipe because it’s the healthiest and, I thought, tasted the best! Love you

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