Irish Soda Bread

In the US, Irish soda bread is studded with raisins and contains eggs and butter and almost resembles a tea cake. Purists call this a corruption of the traditional bread which was introduced in the early 1800s. Even those without an oven could bake this bread, all you needed was a cast-iron pot. In honor of St Patrick’s Day, here is a recipe for an authentic soda bread. This is by far the simplest bread i have ever baked, there is no kneading involved and no fancy ingredients. Soda bread, as the name suggests contains baking soda which makes its a dense bread with a slightly dry texture. Buttermilk adds a nice tang to the bread and it tastes great when its fresh and warm. If you plan to make this ahead, make sure to toast the bread slices and slather it with butter before serving.  I have used whole wheat pastry flour in this recipe, but you can use all-purpose flour. Whether you are Irish or not, St. Patrick’s Day is a time for Celtic celebrations, so try your luck with this Irish soda bread.

soda bread

Ingredients

2.5 cups whole wheat pastry flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1.25 cups buttermilk

Method

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients.

3. Add a cup of buttermilk to the dry ingredients and use a large spoon or your hands to mix until the dough comes together.

4. Add more buttermilk, if the mixture is very crumbly. The dough should be moist but not very sticky.

5. Shape into a round loaf (i made 2 mini loaves) and place on the baking sheet. Lightly cut an X into the top of the bread with a serrated knife.

6. Bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

7. Cool in pan for at least 10 minutes before slicing.

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