Erin, Go Brag About this Homemade Irish Soda Bread

With St. Patrick’s Day coming up, I thought it would be fun to try some Irish recipes, and decided to start simple with some Irish soda bread. When I told my kids I was making soda bread, they assumed it had some kind of carbonated beverage included in its ingredients, but that’s not the case. The reason it’s called “soda” bread, is that instead of yeast, it uses baking soda as its leavening agent. The result is a dense, chewy bread that’s downright delicious. There are a few recipes on the boards, but I decided to go with a soda bread that came from a blog called Green Eggs and Spam. The photo on Pinterest looks like this:

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Photo courtesy of Green Eggs and Spam

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups sifted flour (cake or pastry flour works best since they’re softer)
  • 2 – 4 tbsp sugar (depending on how sweet you want it – or omit it all together)
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup raisins (leave these out for a more traditional soda bread)
  • 1⅓ cups buttermilk
  1. Mix the dry ingredients together well. Stir in the raisins and milk.
  2. Mix together to form a sticky dough.
  3. Turn out onto floured board and knead until smooth (8 – 10 times – don’t over knead.)
  4. Line a 9 inch cake pan with parchment paper and add the dough. Spread the dough out in the pan.
  5. Score the dough with a large “X” on the top.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 65 minutes.
  7. Carefully remove the bread from the oven. 

Consume within 1 or 2 days – it will not keep.

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So, first, I assembled those dry ingredients in a bowl. I did not use the raisins, and I went for a sweeter bread with four tablespoons of sugar. Also, I did not have cake or pastry flour, so I just went with all-purpose.  Then I added the buttermilk and mixed it using a dough hook, which made this SO EASY.

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After the dough was all mixed, I turned it out onto a floured surface, kneaded it a few times and formed a ball.

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Then I put it in a parchment-lined nine-inch pan and scored it with a knife.

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It baked for sixty minutes at 350 degrees. When it came out, it was as hard as the Blarney Stone, but man, was it delicious!

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For some reason, one side rose up higher than the other. I don’t know if that’s because I used all-purpose flour, or perhaps the baking soda wasn’t evenly distributed, but whatever, it was still tasty.

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In any case, it was gone within the day. Serves up nicely with any meal — it doesn’t have to be Irish!

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