Need a quick and easy recipe to make this St. Patrick’s Day? We have got you covered with this simple, quick bread recipe your entire family will love! With its sweet flavor and dense texture, this traditional Irish bread tastes almost cakelike. Great for mopping up a hearty stew or for topping with your favorite homemade jams and jellies, Irish Soda Bread is the perfect recipe to make for St. Patrick’s Day!
Why is it called “soda” bread? Not to be confused with “soda pop”, Irish Soda Bread actually gets its name from the use of baking soda in this traditional recipe! Unlike other bread recipes that call for yeast, Irish Soda Bread uses baking soda and buttermilk for its leavening. These specific ingredients, including the cold butter, give the Irish Soda Bread its signature dense texture and crusty exterior.
Is Irish Soda Bread Irish? Yes! While the use of a natural form of soda to leaven bread was first created by Native Americans, it was later adopted and replicated by the Irish in the 1830’s during a time of famine when baking soda was first introduced to the country. Irish Soda Bread uses four simple ingredients that were more easily accessible to the public at the time–flour, salt, baking soda, and buttermilk. This quick bread could be baked on griddles and pans over an open hearth which made it an easy option for families across Ireland.
1 ¾ Cups Buttermilk 1 large Egg 4 ¼ Cups All Purpose Flour 3 TBSP Granulated Sugar 1 tsp Baking Soda 1 tsp Salt 5 TBSP Unsalted Butter (cold)
In a bowl or glass measuring cup, combine the buttermilk and egg with a whisk and set aside. In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Add the cold butter (cubed) and mix together until the butter has become pea-sized (or smaller) crumbs. It can be easiest to use your hands for this step! Once your flour mixture is well combined, fold in the buttermilk until your dough has formed.
Using a handful of flour, dust your work surface and knead your dough for 30-60 seconds, until texture has become smooth. Shape into a round loaf then score with an “X”. Place your dough onto a cast iron skillet to bake. Bake in the oven at 400° for 45 minutes, and cover with tinfoil halfway through to avoid burning the crust.
Once your bread has turned a golden brown, remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Serve warm with your favorite spreads! This traditional Irish bread recipe is sure to be one you and your family will love, all year long, but we especially love baking it around St. Patrick’s Day as a simple and delicious way to celebrate. Make it your own by adding a twist with raisins, caraway seeds, honey, or orange zest! The options are endless.