Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Irish Soda Bread

To commemorate St. Patrick’s Day, the Artisan Bread Baker’s group made Irish Soda Bread for the March bread of the month. BOM (Bread of the Month) is a virtual bread-baking party hosted by Phyl Of Cabbages & King Cakes.

Soda Bread is the traditional bread of Ireland. It can be made with white or whole wheat flour. Early Irish cooks bypassed yeast and used "bread soda" or "baking soda" because Irish flour was too soft to make yeast bread. The bread was cooked on a griddle set over the fire or in a bastable, which is a type of Dutch oven. In many parts of Ireland, soda bread is still shaped and baked as a round loaf with a cross marked on top.

To view more Irish Bread Recipes, click here.


What is Soda Bread?

Soda bread is a type of quick bread in which baking soda has been substituted for yeast. The ingredients of traditional soda bread are flour, baking soda, salt, and buttermilk. Other ingredients can be added such as raisins or various forms of nuts.

Make Your Own Buttermilk Plant

Buttermilk is an essential ingredient in traditional soda breads. It can be cultured very easily using a buttermilk plant. Here is a recipe to make a buttermilk plant for use in Irish Soda Breads and other recipes that call for buttermilk.


Irish Soda Bread Recipe

from Jeff Smith, aka The Frugal Gourmet

Makes: 2 Round Loaves I only wanted to make one loaf so I halved the recipe. 


  • 6 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 cups buttermilk


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Add all of the dry ingredients to a large bowl and mix very well. Pour all of the buttermilk into the bowl at once and stir, using a wooden spoon, just till a soft dough is formed. 

Pour the contents of the bowl onto a lightly floured counter and knead for a minute or so till everything comes together.

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Divide the dough into two portions and shape each into a round loaf, pressing the top down a bit to just barely flatten it. Place the loaves on a large ungreased baking sheet.

I only made one loaf and decided to bake it in a ceramic dish rather than freeform.

Sprinkle with some addition flour on the top.  Using a sharp knife, make the sign of a Cross in slashes on the top of the loaf.

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Allow the loaves to rest for 10 minutes and then bake on the middle rack for 40 minutes or till the loaves are golden brown and done to taste.

Remove the bread from the oven and let it cool before slicing or serving.

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Soda bread can dry out quickly and is typically good for two to three days; it is best served warm or toasted.

This soda bread was actually pretty moist.  I liked it!  It didn’t have raisins or currants in it so it reminded me of a big biscuit!  It tasted good with butter and homemade citrus marmalade.


Happy Baking!

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