Irish Soda Bread

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!!

This year I wanted to make something that was truly Irish for St. Patrick’s Day.  I settled on Irish Soda Bread, something I had never tried let alone made.

I started with a little research to find the “best” recipe, I found a little more than I bargained for.  When it comes to Irish Soda Bread there are 2 distinct groups, 1) those who are traditional who shun anything other than the True Irish Soda Bread, consisting of only 4 ingredients and 2) those who add other ingredients such as sugar, eggs, raisins etc. Not knowing much about the subject I decided to dig a little deeper.

A traditional Irish Soda bread includes flour, salt, baking soda and buttermilk, that’s it!  Those who make this kind are sticklers to tradition and insist this is how it is done.  In fact they are so admit there is an actual website to the Society for the Preservation of Irish Soda Bread an informative read. I must admit, I was a little skeptical that those 4 simple ingredients were going to produce a tasty bread, but I went it with.

Traditional Irish Soda Bread

3 cups (12 oz) of wheat flour
1 cup (4 oz) of white flour
14 ounces of buttermilk (pour in a bit at a time until the dough is moist)
1 teaspoon of salt
1 1/2 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda.

In medium mixing bowl, whisk together two flours, baking soda and salt.

Make well in centre. Add buttermilk.

Mix, first with rubber spatula and then by hand, until moistened and ingredients come together.

Transfer to greased baking sheet. Gently shape into 8-inch round. Using wet knife, cut deep cross across length and width of loaf.

Bake in preheated 400F oven 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350F. Bake 15 minutes or until toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean. (mine took another almost half hour).  Cool on wire rack. Wrap cooled bread, preferably in cotton bag.

I was impressed, it was quite tasty! It was a lot more moist then I expected, I’m not sure why but I expected a dry crumbly bread.  It was very good but would not make the whole wheat version again as im not a huge fan of whole wheat bread to begin with.

Now all you traditional Soda bread people STOP READING NOW!  as I am about to change-up a little.

Version #2

I wanted to try a white Soda Bread again very traditional

White Soda Bread

4 cups (16 oz) of all purpose flour.

1 Teaspoon baking soda

1 Teaspoon salt

14 oz of buttermilk

1 cup shredded Cheddar Cheese

**See directions above**

This one was our favourite.  It had a much nicer texture then the whole wheat.  Next time I would make it without the cheese to get the full flavour of just the Soda Bread.  This bread was amazing, it was dense and very flavourful, I loved the outer crust!  I will be definitely be making this again and again.  I am sure that I will be stepping more outside the box of “traditional” as I would love to try one with cinnamon.

All and all a huge success!  Something that will be made over and over, not just on St. Patrick’s Day!






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