Soda Bread With Walnuts and Raisins

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This whole wheat soda bread is a variation on an Irish classic called “spotty dog”, typically made with currants and white flour. Golden walnuts and succulent raisins find their perfect home in this soda bread.


  • 375 grams (3 cups) whole wheat flour
  • 125 grams (1 cup) unbleached flour (all-purpose)
  • 10 grams (2 teaspoons) baking soda
  • 10 grams (1 1/4 teaspoons) fine sea salt
  • 60 grams (heaped 1/2 cup) walnuts (chopped)
  • 110 grams (1 cup) golden or regular raisins
  • 475 grams (2 cups) buttermilk


  1. Preheat oven to 400. Line a baking sheet with parchment/baking paper. In a wide bowl, sift together the flours, baking soda and salt.
  2. In the middle of the flour make a well, and add your raisins, walnuts, then pour in the buttermilk. Use a wide wooden spoon, wide rubber spatula, or your hands, to mix the flour from the sides of the bowl to the center. Be sure to turn the bowl, and sweep the flour from the sides into the buttermilk. Continue mixing until the buttermilk, walnuts and raisins have incorporated into the flour before scraping out onto a lightly floured surface. Your dough should be a bit sticky, yet soft. Flour your hands so it won’t stick.
  3. Quickly but gently knead the dough, enough to shape it into a ball. Use your floured hands to gently pat it into a 2-inch tall round. Put on the parchment-lined baking sheet, then cut a ½ deep cross over their tops. Don’t let too much time pass between adding the buttermilk to the flour, and placing the loaf in the oven.
  4. Bake until the loaf returns a hollow sound when tapped on its bottom – roughly 40-45 minutes. Take out of oven, loosely wrap in a kitchen towel or cloth, and allow to cool on a rack.


  • Preparing in advance: Soda bread is best eaten within a couple days of baking, and does not freeze well.