Spotted Dog (Irish Fruit Soda Bread)

Mark Boughton
  • Yield: 10 servings
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 15 mins

A traditional soda bread, Spotted Dog is delicious warm from the oven, and day-old bread is great toasted with lots of melting butter and a cup of Irish breakfast tea.


3 1/2cups all-purpose flour
1teaspoon baking soda
2tablespoons sugar
1pinch salt
1/3cup raisins or dried cranberries
1 3/4cups buttermilk


  1. Preheat oven to 425F.
  2. Combine flour, baking soda, sugar, salt and raisins in a large bowl. Slowly add buttermilk and mix until well combined. (Dough will be wet.) Turn dough out onto a floured board and form into a round (about 8-inch diameter). Make a cross in the dough by lightly cutting through about a half-inch depth across the dough in both directions. (This is said to “let the fairies out,” but really it aids in even baking.)
  3. Place dough round on a baking sheet and bake 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 400F and continue baking bread 30 minutes.
  4. Remove bread from the oven, turn it over and tap the bottom. It will sound hollow when done. Place on a rack to cool. Serve warm or toasted with butter and jam.

Recipe by Diane Stopford


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