This is a fast and simple Amish Friendship Bread variation based on Ina Garten’s Irish Soda Bread recipe.
Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day! This Irish Soda Amish Friendship Bread recipe is super easy AND super fast, with no rise time or excessive kneading required. Everything goes into one bowl, making clean up a snap. Check out the video and if you decide to give this recipe a try, you’ll have bread on your table in a little over an hour.
The first thing to do is preheat your oven to 375° F (190° C) with a rack placed in the middle of the oven. If you are going to use a baking sheet, put it aside. If you prefer to bake your bread in a cast iron skillet or Dutch oven, place them inside the oven now to preheat. If you use your cast iron skillet regularly to cook food, make sure there is no excess oil in the skillet or it will smoke in your oven while your bread is baking (boo!).
Sourdough/bread loaf recipes using Amish Friendship Bread starter take a bit longer to bake, so to prevent over browning on the bottom of the loaf, I add an empty baking sheet below the rack I will be using.
Combine flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in the bowl of your electric mixer (you can mix by hand, too). Use the paddle attachment and set the speed to low, incorporating all the dry ingredients for a few seconds. Add the chilled cubed butter and continue mixing on low until the butter is mixed into the flour.
In a large measuring cup, use a fork or small whisk to beat the Amish Friendship Bread starter, buttermilk, egg, and orange zest. Slowly add to flour mixture and continue to mix on low speed.
Dust a large cutting board or work surface with flour. Toss 1 cup of Zante currants in the flour on the board and then add to the dough mixture. You can also use 1 cup of raisins or 2 teaspoons of caraway seeds, or skip the add-ins altogether.
Turn out the dough onto your work surface–it will be sticky. Knead a couple of times as you shape a round loaf.
Take a sheet of parchment paper and get it wet. Squeeze out the excess moisture, then place the dough ball onto the parchment paper. This will give a little steam to your bread when it goes into the oven and also make it easy to transfer.
Lightly cut an “X” into the top of your bread, then use the parchment paper to transfer the bread to a baking sheet. If you’re using a preheated skillet or Dutch oven, open the oven CAREFULLY and pull out the skillet or Dutch oven (wear oven-proof mitts, it’ll be hot). Place the parchment paper and bread in the center of the skillet or Dutch oven.
Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick or wooden skewer comes out clean. The bread will make a hollow sound when you tap on it. If your bread starts to over brown before it’s finished baking, loosely tent some foil on top of it, shiny side up. Move the bread to a baking rack to cool.
Now for the hard part. You HAVE to let the bread fully cool, at least an hour or two, before slicing into it. If you cut into it too soon, it will be gummy on the inside, and that would be a bummer. I promise it will be worth the wait!
This tastes even better the next day, lightly toasted with a generous smear of butter. Enjoy, and Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
Irish Soda Amish Friendship Bread
- 4 cups flour plus extra as needed
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- 4 tablespoons butter chilled and cut into ½” cubes
- 1 cup Amish Friendship Bread starter
- 1½ cups buttermilk cold
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon orange zest grated
- 1 cup dried currants
- Preheat oven to 375° F (190° C). If using a cast-iron skillet or Dutch oven, place inside of oven. If using a baking sheet, set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, combiner flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Use the paddle attachment to mix, then add the chilled cubes of butter until butter is incorporated into the flour.
- In a large measuring cup, lightly beat starter, buttermilk, egg, and orange zest.
- With the mixer on low speed, add the starter mixture into the flour mixture.
- Flour a work surface or cutting board. Toss the currants in the flour on the board, then add the currants into the dough.
- Dump the dough onto the floured board and knead to form a round loaf.
- Take a sheet of parchment paper and wet it. Wring out the excess moisture and place the dough ball on top. Lightly slice an “X” into the top of the dough with a serrated knife.
- Hold the ends of the parchment paper to transfer the dough to baking sheet. If using a preheated cast iron skillet or Dutch oven, carefully add the dough and parchment paper into the center. Careful, it will be hot!
- Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a wooden skewer inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean. When you tap on the loaf, it should sound hollow.
- Allow to fully cool on baking rack before slicing. Enjoy!
- The damp parchment paper will create a little steam while baking, resulting in a crisper crust.
- To avoid over-browning the bottom of your bread, insert an empty baking sheet on the rack below the bread.
- If your bread begins to brown too quickly while baking, loosely tent some foil above it, shiny side up. Don’t remove your bread from the oven, just open the oven door and drop the foil on top.
- Allow the bread to fully cool before slicing, at least one hour (some folks swear by two). This is important, otherwise your bread may end up gummy on the inside if you cut into it too early.
>> Have you tried this? Share your best pic with us or leave a comment below and let us know how it worked for you!
My husband and I love this recipe. I have made this once a week for a couple of months now and to change it up, have tried it a few different ways. I like to use whole grain and the whole wheat pastry flour works well, just a bit stickier. I have swapped out the buttermilk with kefir and have used coconut oil instead of butter a couple of times. Works just as good and still tastes amazing. My husband likes dates so I use half dates and half currants. The best was the one I did with dried blueberries when I was in a hurry and grabbed the wrong jar. It was a delightful mistake. Thank you so much for your site. We have been having fun with many of the recipes.
I made this for the first time today. I don’t have a stand mixer, so did it by hand. That was very easy to do. I used raisins as I couldn’t find currants anywhere. Baked it in my cast iron skillet. I have never had any kind of Irish soda bread, so didn’t really know what t expect. Well, let me tell you, it’s delicious! Super easy to make which is nice as I’m still a novice bread maker. I’ll definitely be making this again and not just on St. Patrick’s Day!
That’s awesome, Chris! So glad you tried your hand at this recipe. It’s definitely a keeper in our book, too!
Angela Rojas says
Your recipes look amazing, I have the dry potato starter, can I use it instead of the amish friendship bread starter?
Hi Angela! You’ll have to experiment, as it’s not a 1:1 exchange in the Amish Friendship Bread starter recipes, but we don’t think it should cause too much of an issue in this recipe. Have fun!
Tried this last weekend because I wanted an “ordinary” loaf and didn’t want to wait 6+ hours for a proof (and didn’t have any dry yeast on hand). Surprised at how big a loaf I got. Don’t think I needed to wet the paper– if anything I got a little too much crust. Next time, I think I’ll shape it into two smaller loaves.
Dawn Onofrio says
I cannot wait to try thi recipe. I make the Rustic Sourdough bread all the time. I bake another recipe for a crusty bread in a dutch oven. This will be a great addition to the recipe box.
Kate P says
I love Amish Friendship bread thank you for posting recipe for starter I have been looking for recipe forever! I would love to try the Irish Soda bread as well. Thank you for posting.
Yumm…I like to try new recipes with my started. Thanks for sharing.
I accidentally found you, looking for friendship bread! I would like to get some starter and try this recipe with dried cranberries and chopped pecans! Mmm!
Lou Buckner says
I am new to your site and so excited to find this information!
Wilma Kirk Lee says
I’m not familiar with Irish Soda Bread – sounds like I need to try it~
Beth Shelton says
Looks great would like to try it with dried cranberries!
Going to Ireland this summer and I can’t wait to see if the soda bread in the homeland is as good a this recipe!
I currently have 47 starters languishing in my freezer and I’m just going through and compiling the recipes I want to use them for.
I wish I could get currants to try because we LOVE new foods. Oh well. Raisins will have to do, instead.
Terry Shidal says
I would try this recipe in a hot minute. I love experimenting with my starter and trying new things.
Dee A. says
What beautiful bread!
I can hardly wait to try it.
Raymond Woytowich says
I tried your recipe and loved it. I then made it again, but this time I used dried cranberries and loved it even more.
You have to try it with cranberries.
Yvette Wilson says
Love this recipe!
Sonja Goldinak says
I am a “breadaholic” and I will be making this in the near future! I’ve made countless mini loaves with everything from nuts to dried fruits to sundried tomatoes in them for family and friends, and they can’t get enough. I share the starter, but they rather have me make them!
Every time I see Irish Soda bread in a movie or other program, it looks soooooo good! I can’t wait to try it. Thanks so much for posting this! ?
Janice Byrd says
An interesting recipe and one I would like to try.
Iv’e made traditional soda bread several times, but knowing how moist all the breads are with friendship starter, this would be fantastic. Looking forward to trying it!
Will have to wait another 7 days but will try.
Carol Remmick says
I have eaten Irish soda bread but never tried it. I am going to give it a try
Roberta Giordano says
Never made Irish soda bread. But it looks delicious !
I love homemade bread and would definitely give this recipe a try. Although, I’d probably go with raisins over the currents. The addition of orange zest sounds excellent!
April Minton says
This looks so amazing and I have the perfect Dutch oven to try it in!!
I’m new to this site and am thrilled to find all this info!!!
Looks beautiful!! I’ll try it with raisins because that’s what I have on hand.
I’m going to try this over the weekend!
I cant wait to try this
This will be my next attempt on day 10!
I am just now learning how to with Sourdough!
Can’t wait for it to be ready for baking!
Thanks for the great recipe. Tried it although I was skeptical, every Irish soda bread I have tried has been dry and not very flavorful, but this one is wonderful, moister and very tasty, guess the starter has what it need s to turn an otherwise ho-hum bread into something y family really enjoyed.!! Cant wait to try some of your other recipes! This is my first try at friendship bread.
Your ingredient list does not include the egg. I didn’t realize I was missing one until my bread was already mixed… had to add it at the end, which is unfortunate. I hope my bread turns out okay. But please update your ingredient list so it will be correct.
Darien Gee says
Tracy, thank you! It was in the directions but not on the list — I’m glad you caught it and so sorry for that! Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
Thankfully it worked out and I got rave reviews when I served it today. Thanks for the great recipe!
Darien Gee says
So happy to hear that, Tracy! Thanks again and Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
FRANCES MARROQUIN says
This recipe looks like something I will try.
I can’t wait to try this variation of Irish Soda Bread.
I started the friendship starter a few weeks ago and the cinnamon bread was wonderful. I have another starter ready and so glad to have found this Irish Soda Bread recipe, PERFECT timing 😉
Diane Tompkins says
This Amish Friendship Bread looks delish. I would love to make this after seeing the picture. Amish recipes always get my attention. Thank you so much.
Linda Rife says
I have never tried Irish soda bread but this recipe looks sooooo good, I will have to try it
I would try the recipe. My son was born on St. Patty’s Day so I love everything connected to the holiday!
I’ve never made Irish Soda Bread, after seeing this recipe I want to try it!
jjan metz says
love, love,love this bread. making bread it is almost a spiritual thing with me.
Joanne Eck says
My husband loves breads, and I will be trying this one for him. It looks delicious.
Barbara Stoakley says
Am going to make this bread. Looks like a easy enough bread for me to try..:-)
Sounds absolutley delicious!! I am looking for a way to make friendship bread too fit within my numerous dietary restrictions. I’ll let you know. These bags would be wonderful since I make all my own breads.
Helen P says
I am making it this weekend, can’t wait.
Michele Hill says
I was introduced to Amish friendship bread by a coworker, she gave me a starter bag and the instructions after that. Since then i have always wanted to start one of my own but did not know how. Seeing this on facebook made my day. Thank you
I am brand new to bread baking but this looks awesome! Can wait to try it!! 🙂
I love all the recipes you have to use the starter!
Janet Hoonard says
Every St Patrick’s Day we have this bread at our craft group. Perfect timing. It’s my year,
Diana Gonzales says
Bread looks so good. Will definitely try this recipe!!
Wanda Montgomery says
I love baking amish bread to give out at church. 😉
Usually its chocolate chip, blueberry or pumpkin bread. This looks interesting. I’ll have to try it.
Beverly Smith says
I’ve made Irish Soda Bread from a mix, but am anxious to try this recipe with the starter.
Definitely going to try this. Never made Irish soda bread and would be fun to add to my Irish celebrations.
Susan Chriestenson says
I’ve never made Irish soda bread before, can’t wait to try it, after all I have Irish in my DNA, my grandmother was a Murphy.
Mark Allen Smith says
I like Amish Friendship Bread and this Irish Soda bread looks great. I’m giving it a try thank’s.
Monica Greaney says
Irish soda bread has been a tradition in my house every St Patrick’s Day. I love how you floured the currents on the work surface. One less bowl to clean. Brilliant!
Kitty Austin says
I am going to give this a try as well although I don’t seem to be able to find any dried currants. Would raisins work instead?
Mark Allen Smith says
You can also use 1 cup of raisins
Charlotte Moore says
I have never made this type of bread. It looks delicious.
Diane R. says
I’ve always wanted to make Irish soda bread. This recipe looks like a great one to try to go with my corned beef dinner. Thanks for sharing.
I just made this it turned out amazing! Tha k you for sharing this great recipe!!