Acute How-To: Irish Soda Bread

My husband is from Ireland and all of his family still lives there.  For him, this has meant many years of homesickness.  For me, this has meant many trips to Ireland over the years.

Each trip to Ireland is filled with fantastic meals.  My favorite is from a small restaurant in my husband’s hometown where I always get a simple bowl of creamy tomato soup and fresh soda bread.

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day this week, I wanted to show you all how to make this simple and quintessential Irish food – Soda Bread.

Do not be intimidated by the prospect of making bread, this recipe is easy and satisfying.  I promise.

Irish Soda Bread

  • 4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup white all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup steel cut Irish Oats
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • about 3 cups of buttermilk
  • butter – for greasing the pan

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit

2. Put all ingredients {except buttermilk} in a large bowl and whisk together.

3. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and slowly add the buttermilk.   Use a wooden spoon to stir until all is combined and there is no raw flour left.  {Note: You might not need all the buttermilk.  The dough should be moist, but not super sticky.}

4. Take the dough out of the bowl and put it onto a lightly floured surface.  Use your hands to shape the dough into a large round.

5. Use a small bit of butter and lightly grease a baking sheet.  Transfer the dough round to the baking sheet and scour a deep X in the center of the bread.

6. Bake for 45-60 minutes {check it at 45, if the center is still moist, leave it in for another 15 minutes}.

Serve alongside soup or with butter and jam.  If you want a sweeter bread, add a cup of raisins.  Bread will last for about 4 days if stored in an air tight container or plastic bag.

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