Irish Soda Bread

Updated: Apr 25, 2021

Both sides of my family come from Ireland. 🍀 I grew up with my Dad and other family members singing many Irish folk songs, eating Irish foods, always celebrating St Patty’s Day (obvi!), and we even named the road that leads to our cottage “Connemara”. With my red hair, green eyes, and Irish name – I am pretty much the poster-child for Ireland (despite the fact I was actually born in Lebanon!).


In fact, today (Ireland’s National Day) was actually my due date, so my parents had always planned to name me Kelly. And even though I ended up being born early, when I came out with red hair – they decided to stick with Kelly. 👩🏻‍🦰


I wanted to do an Irish-themed post today, in honour of St. Patrick's Day - and have chosen yummy IRISH SODA BREAD! 🍀 🍞


Every family in Ireland has its own recipe for soda bread, hand-written on flour-crusted note paper and wedged in among the cookbooks. Some like it sweet with a spoonful of honey, sugar or dried fruits. Others prefer sprinkled-in seeds, bran and oats for a health boost, or Guinness for the opposite effect. 🍺


However, the basic ingredients do not change, and nor does the way it’s eaten: sliced and spread liberally with butter. It is a very dense and heavy bread, so I like it best when dipping it in soup or stew!


Health benefits of Irish Soda Bread: Low in saturated fat and cholesterol. Sugar-free, and rich in dietary fibers. Added bonus is that proper buttermilk is a “fermented food” and provides gut-healthy bacteria/probiotics.

IRISH SODA BREAD


INGREDIENTS

  • 4 cups whole wheat flour (all-purpose works too)

  • 2 tsp. baking soda (used as a leavening agent instead of the traditional yeast)

  • 1 tsp. salt

  • 1 ¾ cup buttermilk


PREPARATION

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grease and flour a 9-inch round cake pan.

  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt. Gradually stir in the buttermilk until the dough comes together in a slightly sticky ball.

  3. Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead gently a few times. Form the dough into a ball and then press into the prepared pan so that the dough resembles a large disk. The dough should reach the edges of the pan, but may spring back slightly.

  4. Cut an X into the dough with a sharp knife, about 1/4 of an inch deep. Cover the pan of dough with another round cake pan turned upside down.

  5. Bake for 25-30 minutes, covered, then remove the top pan and bake uncovered for about 10 minutes more or until the crust is dark golden brown.