Irish Soda Bread Recipe

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I generally only make Irish soda bread once or twice a year. Not because it's difficult (it really, really isn't). But because it's so darn easy and delicious that I'd do nothing but sit at the table, eating slice after slice of the bread (preferably warm out of the oven), slathered in butter and honey.

In honor of St. Patrick's day coming up, I wanted to share my family's favorite Irish soda bread recipe.

It's sooo good, you guys. And since it's a quick bread, it's fast and easy to make.  No yeast, no rise time, no excessive kneading.  Ready for the recipe, including a free, printable, one page version of the recipe?  Head to Page Two for all the details.

Irish Soda Bread Recipe

Ingredients for Irish Soda Bread:

  • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4 cup (that's the same as a half a stick, or 4 Tablespoons) butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 3/4 cup buttermilk

Directions for Making Irish Soda Bread:

1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
2) In a large bowl, stir together all dry ingredients. Cut in cold butter with a pastry cutter or two knives, until the chunks of butter are pea-sized.
3) Add to the dry ingredients the buttermilk and beaten egg.
 
Let me interrupt this recipe now to show you one of my favorite kitchen tools:
 
Basically, you just push the coil down a bunch of times (squishy squishy squish!), and in just a few seconds, you have a perfectly beaten, frothy egg. It's way faster and more comprehensive than using a whisk or a fork.

I don't know how easy these things are to find these days, unfortunately. I had a friend, an accomplished baker herself, come over while I was using my egg beater and exclaim, "Oh that's what it's for! I've seen it in my mom's kitchen, and I always thought it was a really crappy whisk!" It does make a pretty pathetic whisk, but it's awesome at what it's intended to do. And fun. I can't emphasize enough the sheer enjoyment of the boingy, squishy action of beating an egg with this tool. If you ever see one in a resale shop, pick it up. It's worth it.

Back to the recipe.

4) Stir the wet and dry ingredients together until blended. Place the dough on a floured surface, and knead until smooth, about two or three minutes.

Note: remember to take your rings off before this step.

5) Divide dough in two parts and shape into smooth, round loves. Put each round of dough in its own greased 8" pie or cake pan, and press down until the dough fills the pan. Use a floured, sharp knife to cut a cross in the top of each loaf. Each cut should be about a half inch deep.



6) Bake 35-40 minutes at 375, until the bread is a light golden brown color.


This stuff is seriously delicious, especially straight out of the oven, warm, with butter and honey.


And for what it's worth, the recipe is pretty forgiving, too. I forgot to add the butter the last time I made the bread. It was still darn good! It works fabulously with egg beaters instead of real eggs, and milk curdled with lemon juice instead of buttermilk. Of course, I recommend the recipe as written for the very best product.

Is it authentic? Perhaps not the most authentic recipe out there. But it's seriously delicious. Tom Bracken, head of the Bracken School of Irish Dancing, an actual Irish man, gave the bread rave reviews yesterday, and said it was the best Irish soda bread he's had in this country. Until I can get to Ireland and do an exhaustive search for the best Irish soda bread out there (I'm ready and willing, if anyone wants to sponsor this effort, by the way), this recipe is good enough for me.

Want a free, printable, one page version of this recipe?  Download the PDF here.

 

Nicole Wills, creator of Tikkido