This Irish Soda Bread will take you on a journey through history. I love this traditional Irish bread recipe as it’s easy to make and, with its savory crumb and crispy crust, is a real crowd-pleaser.
You probably already know that we specialize in everything Irish. Irish potatoes and Irish Cream cold brew are two of the most popular pages of BakedBree. And they are not the only ones. I also love making those nutty Irishman cupcakes for St. Patrick’s Day. So when I discovered this Irish bread recipe, I couldn’t wait to try it and trust me, you should, too!
What Is Irish Soda Bread? //
It is a much-loved bread in Ireland, easy to bake, and favored for its savory crumb and crispy crust. It’s a comforting bake, like my recipe for braided cardamom bread. As its name suggests, this recipe originated in Ireland at the beginning of the 19th century when baking soda became widely advertised in the country and is nowadays especially popular around St Patrick’s Day.
But what’s the difference between this recipe and a traditional soda bread recipe? Well, the dough for Irish soda bread is a mix of white flour, baking soda, and buttermilk. This combination of ingredients makes it possible to have dense bread with a beautiful honeycombed crumb and a perfect rise. The term “soda bread”, meanwhile, is used to describe any bread that uses baking soda as the leavening agent instead of yeast.
- 3 ½ cups of white flour
- 1 to 1 ½ cups of buttermilk
- 1 cup of raisins
- 1 egg
- 4 tbsp of salted butter
- 1 tbsp of sugar
- 2 tbsp of baking soda (or bicarbonate soda)
How To Make // The Steps
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 450°F.
Step 2: Mix together the flour, sugar, and bicarbonate soda or baking soda.
Step 3: Add the softened and cubed butter, then sand the mixture, mixing with your hands.
Step 4: Pour in the buttermilk and beaten egg. Mix it with a wooden spatula to attain a soft dough.
Step 5: Add raisins to Irish soda bread.
Step 6: Shape the dough into a large circular loaf and score it with a large cross to allow the heat into the center.
Step 7: Place the dough in a skillet, and bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes.
Step 8: Leave the bread to rest. Once cooled, serve with a little bit of butter or jam.
Yes! Replace the egg with a mixture of chia seeds and water; the butter with margarine (or coconut oil for a drier texture); and the buttermilk with plant-based milk (e.g. soy, almond, oat, or coconut).
It has the texture of a dense cake with a crispy outside. This texture lends itself to making great French toast.
You can use a 50/50 mix of milk and yogurt, or you can make your own buttermilk by mixing together milk and lemon juice. Adding lemon juice curdles the milk, thanks to the citric acid.
Yes, just replace the flour with a gluten-free mixture made up of semi-whole rice flour, buckwheat flour, and cornstarch (adjust the proportions depending on how dense you want your bread).
Tips for Irish Soda Bread //
- Don’t knead your dough too much; otherwise, it could become too dense and firm.
- Place an aluminum film over the bread while baking to avoid too much coloring.
- Place it on a wire cooling rack as soon as it comes out of the oven to avoid overcooking the bread. This will allow steam to escape more easily.
- Add other dried fruits such as apricots for a sweeter version. This works with practically all dried fruits, such as cranberries, dates, or prunes.
- Replace the white flour with wholemeal flour. It will add a rougher texture to your bread, perfect for pairing with smoked salmon.
- Add different seeds to fill your bread with fiber. I suggest walnuts, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, poppy seeds, or pumpkin seeds.
How To Store Irish Soda Bread //
Place your Irish Soda Bread in plastic wrap to extend the life of your bread and keep it from drying out. You can keep it for up to 2 or 3 days at room temperature.
Irish soda bread also freezes well. Just allow it to cool completely beforehand. It is delicious for breakfast fresh out of the toaster with butter and jam.
Other Bread Recipes //
- Whipped Herb Goat Cheese, Roasted Tomatoes & Flatbreads
- Simple Challah Bread Recipe
- Spiced ApplesauceBread
- Caramelized White Chocolate Banana Bread
Wednesday 8th of March 2023
It’s says wheat flour in ingredient list but then in the recipe story you mention white flour. It looks like white flour in photos as well .