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Recipe

Irish Soda Bread

Scott Phillips

Yield: Yields 1 large loaf

Servings: 8

Soda bread has been an Irish household staple since baking soda became commercially available in the early 19th century. It uses just four ingredients that most people kept on hand: flour, salt, baking soda, and buttermilk (raisins and caraway seeds are an American addition). A real soda bread is a simple loaf with a beautifully browned, craggy crust and a nice chew, best eaten liberally smeared with salty Irish butter.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. (3-1/2 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour; more as needed
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. table salt
  • 1-1/2 to 1-3/4 cups buttermilk

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 220
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 10
  • Fat (g): 1
  • Saturated Fat (g): 0
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 0
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 0
  • Cholesterol (mg): 0
  • Sodium (mg): 310
  • Carbohydrates (g): 45
  • Fiber (g): 2
  • Protein (g): 7

Preparation

  • Position a rack in the center of the oven and cook’s tip heat the oven to 450°F. Lightly flour a large rimmed baking sheet.
  • Sift all of the dry ingredients into a large, wide mixing bowl. Make a well in the center and pour in 1-1/2 cups of the buttermilk. Stir with one hand, fingers apart, moving in circles to incorporate the buttermilk into the dry ingredients. If necessary, add more buttermilk 1 Tbs. at a time until the dough just barely comes together. (The absorption rate varies depending on the brand of flour.) The dough should be soft—don’t overwork it.
  • Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface and pat into a round about 6-3/4 inches in diameter and 1-1/2 inches high in the center. Invert the round so the floured side is on top. With a thin, sharp knife, score a cross on the dough about 1/4 inch deep and extending fully from one side to the other.
  • Transfer the dough to the prepared baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 400°F and bake until the bread is browned and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom, another 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Cool to room temperature on a rack, about 2 hours, before slicing and serving.

Though it’s not traditionally Irish, you can add 3 oz. raisins with the dry ingredients, or experiment with add-ins like freshly chopped herbs, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, caramelized onions, or chocolate chips.

Reviews

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Reviews

  • Megann | 04/13/2018

    This is really good bread. I feel as though I always end up using more buttermilk than they call for especially if I measure flour by weight. I’ve made it three times now and all but one batch turned out great.

  • Memapq | 03/17/2017

    I've never had an authentic soda bread before, my husband and I absolutely love this bread. Thank you so much for sharing. This was so easy to make and will be made more than just on st. Patrick's day. I have a picture and will try to upload it.

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