Irish Soda Bread! I wish I could remember when I first fell in love with this bread. Maybe it was when I was a Girl Scout, aiming for some baking badge. I have no idea, really, though it’s safe to say that I’ve grown up baking this bread.
The magic of this recipe is — it takes less an an hour to bake, it uses only 4 (ok, 5) ingredients, and successfully baking this bread gives one so much confidence in the kitchen to tackle larger, more challenging projects.
As a quickbread, like scones and muffins, the leavening agent is the baking soda. And if you don’t have buttermilk on hand, you can certainly get by with a nifty substitution.
Some folks like to add raisins to the dough or dried dill… whatever you fancy. Either way, use our method of baking it halfway underneath a metal mixing bowl. The bowl creates a steam-trap which improves the texture and crust. It’s a beautiful bread, which really should be made more often! It’s not just for St. Patrick’s Day!
Take a look at our video playlist for all technique videos to help you!
Irish Soda Bread (Makes 1 loaf)
3 cups all purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
1 ½ cups buttermilk
½ teaspoon olive oil
Preheat the oven to 425ºF.
Reserve 1 teaspoon of the flour and combine the remaining flour with the salt and baking soda in a large mixing bowl. Use a wooden spoon to create a well in the flour and add the buttermilk a little at a time and mix gently and quickly until the mixture forms into a shaggy, sticky mass.
Dust your work surface with flour and turn the dough out from the bowl. Flour your hands and begin to gently knead the dough together, lifting and folding over and turning 45° each time you fold. Knead in this manner 8 – 12 times. The dough should come together quickly and don’t worry if it’s not totally smooth. There is no need to knead vigorously — this is a quickbread, so you’re trying to achieve a tender bread, which is different from a yeast bread. Use a plastic scraper to help you lift the dough as you shape it into a round about 7 inches in diameter.
Oil an aluminum nonstick baking sheet with the canola oil and place the dough on the sheet. Sprinkle the reserved teaspoon of flour over the surface and using a sharp knife, make two intersecting ¼”-deep cuts across the top of the surface of the loaf to create a cross.
Place a stainless steel bowl upside-down over the bread and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 30 minutes more.
Remove from oven and immediately remove from the baking sheet. Let the bread cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes before slicing and serving.
Check out our YouTube Playlist for Irish Soda Bread here: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL1OJQwr1oUeRBbhRWAsR7sBJM0O5VF1_K
“Butter and jam! Get the butter and jam!!!!”