This Saint Patrick’s Day, celebrate with some good old fashioned Irish soda bread. It required very little kneading and takes less than an hour to make – so just the perfect amount of time to get bladdered (that’s Irish for “drunk”).
With a nice, thick crust, Irish soda bread can be prepared many ways: with cranberries, caraway, or garlic to name a few options. No matter if you eat it plain or full of seasonings, it’s always best eaten warm or toasted.
The key to an authentic soda bread is the combination of buttermilk and baking soda to create its distinctive crust and taste.
Soda bread consists of only a few steps, first by mixing together the dry ingredients in one bowl, and the wet ingredients in another.
Form a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet then stir until a sticky dough forms. Once the dough is no longer stir-able, really get in there with your hands to make sure everything is mixed together properly.
Knead the bread for just about thirty second to a minute on a flour dusted surface until the dough forms a rough ball. It’s okay if it’s somewhat wrinkly. Irish soda bread has an essential ‘X’ sliced just through the surface of the loaf. This helps the dough to grow and expand.
True Irish soda bread is cooked in a cast iron skillet, but if you don’t have one, a shallow pan or baking sheet works in a pinch. You can also make this bread into mini soda bread muffins by using a muffin tin! The bread will be ready when it has a lovely hallow sound wen gently tapped on the bottom. Serve with a healthy portion of butter while wearing something green. Have a happy St. Patty’s Day!
Homemade Irish Soda Bread
- Preheat the oven to 425 F. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In a smaller bowl, combine the buttermilk, egg, and melted butter.
- Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients then pour in the wet mixture. Use a wooden spoon to stir the wet ingredients until they begin to mix with the dry ingredients to form a sticky dough.
- When the dough can no longer be combined with a spoon, use your hands to mix in any remaining dry ingredients.
- Flour a working surface and knead the dough for about one minute or until it forms a ball.
- Grease a baking sheet or cast iron skillet with cooking oil or butter. Gently glide a knife across the top of the bread in an "X" shape.
- Bake the bread for 45-50 minutes, checking for doneness around thirty minutes. The bread should have a hollow sound when tapped. Cool 30 minutes before slicing.
- Serve warm or toasted with butter or marmalade. This bread dries out in about 2 days, so eat it up quick! Enjoy!