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This post was originally published in February 2011 and in desperate need of new life. I updated the photos and recipe just in time for St. Patrick’s Day. Enjoy!
Classic Irish Soda Bread is one of the easiest, most rewarding quick breads you can make at home!
I love a shaggy, craggy beautiful loaf of Irish Soda Bread! This loaf is like kryptonite to me. I can seriously hurt myself on this stuff especially when served slightly warm slathered with butter. Oh. my. word. It doesn’t help that it takes just minutes to mix up and is made with typical pantry ingredients you probably have on hand. It’s a painful process to wait a whole 40 minutes while it bakes, but that allows enough time to put out some jam, apple butter, honey, plenty of butter and my favorite topping, smoked salmon. Brew some coffee, slice a tomato and scramble an egg or two, and you’re set for an incredible Irish breakfast!
One of my favorite things about traveling in Ireland is the amazing breakfasts.
There aren’t a lot of choices for lunch on the backroads of Ireland, so if you’re moving from place to place I highly recommend eating a hearty breakfast before heading out for the day. Every B&B, rooms over pubs, and hotels offer great breakfast options complete with Irish Soda Bread. Many places serve Brown Irish Soda Bread like our recipe found HERE. And, if you’re really lucky, you’ll come across a pub that serves soda bread with dinner too! No worries about the carbs – you’ll walk it off – haha.
Our Irish Soda Bread recipe is pretty traditional but with a few tweaks.
To lighten the texture just a little, we added 1/2 cup of cake flour. This is totally optional so if you don’t have any on hand, no worries. Substitute all-purpose flour in place of the cake flour. I also added two tablespoons unsalted butter to the mix. The butter is melted and stirred into the buttermilk before being added to the flour mixture. This simple trick makes it easy to mix the butter throughout the dough without having to cut it in with a pastry blender. The butter also adds just a touch more flavor and moisture to the bread. Soda Bread is all about being easy and quick!
Irish Soda Bread is terrific served warm but also keeps for a day or two at room temperature.
Leftover soda bread is easily warmed in the microwave or put in the toaster for breakfast the next day. My husband loves tomato sandwiches on this simple, hearty bread and often proclaims that I must really love him to make it again and again. We often have out of town guests and I love to get up early and make this for breakfast. File this recipe under “if I owned a B&B I’d make this for our guests!”
If you’re not a baker, no worries. This is a great recipe to start with! No fussing with yeast or trying to figure out when the dough has risen enough. Just mix the ingredients together, knead into a round loaf and bake. Done and done!
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One of the easiest, most rewarding quick breads you can make at home!
- 1/2 cup cake flour
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoons salt
- 2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter, cooled slightly
- 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- Whisk together the cake flour, all-purpose flour, sugar, baking soda and salt into a large bowl. Make a well in the middle. Combine the melted butter with the buttermilk and whisk until blended. Add the buttermilk mixture to the flour. Stir with a fork just until the dough begins to come together.
- Using your hands, gently knead the dough (still in the bowl) until it starts to come together; it should still be a little bumpy. Do not over-knead the dough as it will turn out tough. Once all the flour is incorporated, pat the dough into a round about 6-inches in diameter and about 2-inches high. Place the loaf in a lightly greased cast iron skillet or on a parchment lined baking sheet. Cut a cross shape into the top of the dough.
- Bake until golden brown or when a skewer inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean, about 40 to 45 minutes. It should reach 170 degrees F in the center using an instant read thermometer. Tent the loaf with foil during baking if it is browning too much.
- Brush with melted butter if desired and cool about 30 minutes before serving.
We use full-fat buttermilk in this recipe. This buttermilk is very thick so you may need a little more liquid to get the dough to come together. You want it to be soft, but not wet. A little sticky is fine. If using low-fat buttermilk, you may need a few extra tablespoons of flour for it to come together. Use your best judgment and adapt accordingly.
The deeper you make the cut in the top, the wider the bread will spread
Store leftovers at room temperature in a sealed container.
Thanks so much for stopping by! Tricia
Originally published February, 2011, updated March 2019