Recipe: Irish Soda Bread

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

If you are planning a festive meal for today, I highly recommend whipping up a batch Irish soda bread. The traditional version of this dense, hearty bread features just four ingredients–flour, baking soda, salt and buttermilk–but you can doctor it up with just about anything you want to enhance its flavor and texture. For example, serve it as a dipper for stew or soup or try adding sugar, honey and dried fruit (I used golden raisins since I had a box in the cabinet) to the dough to sweeten it up. The possibilities are endless, and the loaf comes together quickly and easily.

If you ask me, the best way to enjoy this bread is to keep things simple and top a slice with a generous smear of salted Irish butter as soon as it comes out of the oven.

Soda Bread

Irish Soda Bread

From: Baking Bites

What you will need:

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup raisins (optional)

What to do:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  2. Mix together dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Add the buttermilk and mix with a wooden spoon to bring the dough together. It will look shaggy, (almost like a shortcake dough) and will be moist and a bit sticky (I recommend adding the buttermilk slowly to make sure that doesn’t become too wet and hard to handle). Add the raisins, if using.
  4. Once dough comes together, knead for a minute or two in the bowl and form into a round ball. Place on baking sheet.
  5. Cut an “X” in the top of the bread (about an inch and a half deep). This will help the inside of the bread to bake.
  6. Bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown
  7. Remove from oven. Transfer to wire rack and cool for 10 minutes before serving.

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