When St. Patrick’s Day comes around, nothing hits the spot quite like a warm, fresh loaf of Irish Soda Bread. This easy recipe provides some good old fashioned tradition with basic ingredients you probably already have in your cabinet. Buttermilk helps give this crusty bread some extra flavor. Just toast it up, lightly brush it with butter, and enjoy!
Here’s how you can easily make Irish Soda Bread for the holiday.
Ingredients You’ll Need
-4 cups all-purpose flour
-4 tablespoons white sugar
-1 teaspoon baking soda
-1 tablespoon baking powder
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1/2 cup margarine, softened
-1 cup buttermilk
-1/4 cup butter, melted
-1/4 cup buttermilk
1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a large baking sheet and set it aside.
2. Mix together the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and margarine. Add in 1 cup of buttermilk and the egg. Mix it all by hand then, on a lightly floured surface, knead the dough slightly. Form dough into a round(ish) loaf-shaped oval and place it on the prepared baking sheet.
3. In a smaller bowl, mix the melted butter with 1/4 cup of buttermilk. Brush the loaf with this mixture.
4. Bake the loaf until a toothpick can be inserted and come out clean, approximately 45-50 minutes. Check the bread’s status around the 30-minute mark. If you’d like, continue brushing the bread with butter mixture while it bakes. (And yes. You’d like. Do it. Do it lots.)
When everything is said and done, your Irish Soda Bread should be dense with a tight crumb. The inside should be soft and tender, while the outside should be nice and crisp when it comes out of the oven. It’ll naturally become chewy by the third or fourth day.
Raisins are optional and can be added into your recipe if you’d like. (Add ’em!)
Never made Irish Soda Bread before? Here are some additional tips to make yours the most delicious thing ever.
1. Don’t over-work the dough. It should look a little shaggy and rough before you go to bake. That’s normal. You aren’t making a pasta, so chillax on the kneading, fellow baker.
2. Before baking, take a very sharp knife and mark the top with an “X.” It’ll help the center bake through and provide a more even baking process all around.
3. Bake your bread on a baking sheet if possible, but you can also use a baking pan or a cast iron skillet. The cast iron skillet, if you have one, will help that crust crisp up even further. If you’ve got it, use it!
4. And add raisins. (Did I mention that yet?)
If you don’t mind straying away from the authentic, traditional-style recipe, currants and caraway are other additives that can help your bread pack more of a flavor punch. We recommend slicing your bread straight from the oven and slathering it with some deliciously good salted Irish butter so that it melts immediately into your slice. Irish Soda Bread is a fine complement to corned beef and cabbage, so if you are crocking up a pot o’beef this St. Paddy’s Day, get to baking while your meat is (slow) cooking!