Homemade Irish Soda Bread

It’s That Time of year again….no, not Christmas. It’s the week of St. Patrick’s Day. Over the years, March 17 has become a Serious Food Occasion in the Kelley household. In the past I’ve written about Corned Beef, Cabbage, Lamb Stew, and Irish Soda Bread. Already I’m planning what we’ll be having for dinner on the 17th.
irish soda bread
I’m really happy with some of those recipes…most of them. BUT I’m still working on my Soda Bread recipe; the recipe I use most often ends up turning out like a brick about half the time. I asked my friend Catherine if she had any suggestions. To my delight, she sent me the following email with some extra history as well as a DEEEElicious recipe:
Quick breads were never reliable in the beginning. “Baking soda” or potash,made from ashes from the fire sometimes worked and sometimes, if the milk wasn’t sour enough or too sour, well, the bread had tunnels instead of nice bubbles. Being a good baker was much harder. However, if you were far from a bakery there was no choice.Fortunately we no longer have those problems, so, here is an easy, traditional favorite to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.
Irish Soda Bread
Every Irish housewife had her own secret to Soda bread, ranging from the number of raisins to how many times she kneaded it. Add your own “Irish luck” with your own secret addition – a pinch of cinnamon in the dough or a sprinkle of sugar on top before baking? dried cranberries instead of raisins?!
Irish Soda Bread
  • 2 cups flour, all purpose or use whole wheat flour for up to half of the flour
  • 2 to 5 Tablespoons sugar, white, or brown
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 to 1 cup raisins (optional)
  • 1 to 3 teaspoons caraway seeds (optional)
  • 1 cup buttermilk, or 1 cup milk with 1 teaspoon lemon juice, let stand for 5 minutes
  • 1 egg
  • 4 Tablespoons soft butter (1/2 stick or 2 ounces)
Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Mix the buttermilk and egg with a fork in a smaller bowl. Mix in the soft butter. It won’t incorporate but that’s okay.
Dry ingredients for Irish Soda BreadWet Ingredients for Irish soda breadIrish soda bread
Stir the wet ingredients into the dry just until all is combined into a shaggy dough. Do not overmix. Sprinkle with a little flour if mixture is sticky. If it is too dry add tablespoon or so of milk.
Irish Soda Bread
Form into a round loaf. Turn out on a parchment covered sheet pan, tucking the outside edges under.
Traditional Irish Soda Bread
Brush the top with milk. With a serrated knife mark an X about 1/2 inch deep on the top.
Bake at 375 for  40 to 50 minutes. The inserted toothpick should come out clean when it’s baked through. Cool on a rack.
Irish Soda Bread
This afternoon, when I made this soda bread, I decided that my special secret signature ingredient is going to be the zest of an orange. I was so pleased with how my soda bread turned out. I have to confess that I baked it in my small spring-form pan instead of free-form on a baking sheet. It still turned out just right. This version is MUCH better than any other recipe that I’ve made.
Irish Soda Bread

Barb

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Homemade Irish Soda Bread

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes

Yield: 1 loaf

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour, all purpose or use whole wheat flour for up to half of the flour
  • 2 to 5 Tablespoons sugar, white, or brown
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 to 1 cup raisins (optional)
  • 1 to 3 teaspoons caraway seeds (optional)
  • 1 cup buttermilk, or 1 cup milk with 1 teaspoon lemon juice, let stand for 5 minutes
  • 1 egg
  • 4 Tablespoons soft butter (1/2 stick or 2 ounces)

Instructions

Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Mix the buttermilk and egg with a fork in a smaller bowl. Mix in the soft butter. It won't incorporate but that's okay.

Stir the wet ingredients into the dry just until all is combined into a shaggy dough. Do not overmix. Sprinkle with a little flour if mixture is sticky. If it is too dry add tablespoon or so of milk.

Form into a round loaf. Turn out on a parchment covered sheet pan, tucking the outside edges under.

Brush the top with milk. With a serrated knife mark an X about 1/2 inch deep on the top.

Bake at 375 for 40 to 50 minutes. Cool on a rack.

http://www.mysisterskitchenonline.com/2012/03/13/homemade-irish-soda-bread/

3 thoughts on “Homemade Irish Soda Bread

  1. I made this bread last night for my in laws 62nd year wedding anniversary which is St. Patrick’s day. This was delicious.. As recommended by Barb I did add additional buttermilk to increase moisture for holding along with 2 table spoons additional of sugar. I used brown sugar and fresh ground Whole wheat to measure 1/2 of the flour. I baked in spring form pan also, such a great idea!! We used coriander butter instead of using it in the bread. And when I received complements.. I just said it is Barb’s recipe.. and they gave me the look and yes head shake of course its delicious!!
    thanks again!!

  2. Pingback: Baking Better Bread | My Sister's Kitchen

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