Irish Soda Bread
Classic Irish soda bread is easy to make. We use flour, baking soda, buttermilk, raisins, egg, sugar, and salt. Don’t be fooled by its simplicity—a it’s keeper and takes under 45 minutes.
Everyone has a favorite Irish soda bread recipe. Some with raisins, some with caraway seeds, some with neither.
Irish soda bread requires flour, baking soda, salt, and buttermilk. Buttermilk’s acid interacts with baking soda to leaven bread. “Soda bread” comes from buttermilk and baking soda leavening.
Why the Center Cross?
The central cross—why? Scoring the dough helps heat reach the loaf’s core when baking.
Irish Soda Bread Ingredients
This Americanized soda bread adds butter, sugar, an egg, and currants or raisins to the Irish traditional. It can be baked in a cast-iron frying pan (traditional!) or on a baking sheet.
You may make soda bread biscuits or a simpler version without eggs or currants using caraway seeds.
Irish soda bread lifespan?
Soda bread only lasts two days because it dries out. Freshly baked and toasted is finest. Keep it covered.
But, you can produce and freeze it (let it cool to room temperature first). Cover it securely in plastic wrap, then aluminum foil. It freezes for 2 months.
Traditional Irish Soda Bread?
Ireland’s “soft” wheat, which had less gluten than American wheat, was used to make skillet bread. Domestic Irish wheat didn’t rise properly with yeast.
Hence, baking soda as a leavening agent, which combines with buttermilk to generate microscopic carbon dioxide bubbles like yeast.
Native Indians utilized wood ash to leaven bread without yeast, creating traditional Irish bread. Ireland adopted this breadmaking technology in the 1830s.
Irish soda breads are basic, everyday breads. Every home had these for mopping stews or tea. The Southerners fashioned their dough spherical with a cross on top, while the Northern Irish constructed four triangles. American add-ins include caraway seeds, currants, raisins, and honey. Contemporary Irish soda breads may include almonds, orange zest, or Guinness.
As this soda bread recipe has minimal ingredients, use genuine buttermilk. Yet, certain buttermilk substitutes work well and react with baking soda to raise bread. Kefir is best, although simple milk can thin yogurt to buttermilk consistency.
Lemon juice or white vinegar acidify milk. Fill a measuring cup with 2 scant tablespoons and whole milk for 1 3/4 cups. Stir until the mixture curdles, then follow the procedure.
recipe for Irish Soda Bread:
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 and 3/4 cups buttermilk
- Preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C).
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
- Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the buttermilk.
- Using a wooden spoon or your hands, mix the buttermilk into the flour mixture until it forms a shaggy dough. Be careful not to overmix, as this can make the bread tough.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead it gently for a minute or two until it comes together into a smooth ball.
- Shape the dough into a round loaf and place it on a greased baking sheet or in a cast iron skillet.
- Use a sharp knife to score a deep cross on the top of the loaf. This helps the bread cook evenly and also gives it that classic Irish Soda Bread look.
- Bake the bread for 30-40 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the bread sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.
- Remove the bread from the oven and let it cool on a wire rack for at least 10-15 minutes before slicing and serving.
- Enjoy your freshly baked Irish Soda Bread with some butter or jam, and a hot cup of tea or coffee!