Irish soda bread is meant to be easy to make. In Irish history, it was a bread made by Ireland’s poorer citizens, meaning that all of the ingredients necessary to make it were easily accessible.
Even though Irish soda bread was a common person’s dish and is as traditional as Ireland’s infamous potatoes, the bread has become prevalent enough in modern culture that it’s now a poignant callback to Ireland’s early culinary history.
Nowadays, a quick trip to the supermarket will allow you to taste a touch of Irish history with this simple yet delicious bread.
Irish soda bread has a thick crumb and a delightful taste, and this recipe will allow you to enjoy this flavorful taste whenever you like.
You can halve the recipe in order to make yourself a personal loaf, or you can keep the original measurements in order to make a loaf for the whole family.
You can make a gluten free loaf, if you like, or you can include raisins in the recipe, adding an extra hit of tradition to your baking process.
Take time to get into your baking and knead this bread to perfection, then enjoy your loaf at your leisure.
Irish Soda Bread Recipe
- 4 cups flour
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup softened butter
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 egg
- 1 cup raisins (optional)
- ¼ cup melted butter
- ¼ cup buttermilk
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. In the meantime, grease a bread pan with butter or cooking oil.
Once you’ve set the pan aside, retrieve a bowl and mix together your flour, baking soda, baking powder, sugar, salt, and ½ cup softened butter.
Stir until the ingredients are combined. Then, add the single cup of buttermilk and the egg to the dry mixture.
Stir until well combined and you have a sticky ball of dough at your disposal. If you like, add the 1 cup of raisins, at this point, for a punch of sweetness in your loaf.
Kneading Irish soda bread provides a good upper arm workout, but take care not to over-knead your loaf.
Once you’ve placed your dough onto a floured surface, dig in until the dough loses some of its stickiness – which should require about one or two minutes of kneading.
Once you’ve finished, place the dough into your buttered bread pan.
To the side, mix together your remaining ¼ cup of melted butter and ¼ cup buttermilk. When well-combined, brush the mixture over the loaf in the pan.
You should slice into the top of the bread loaf with a knife, as well, before you place your bread into the oven; slice down the center or in a large “x” from one corner of the loaf to the other.
Your Irish soda bread will take about 48 minutes to cook, give or take a few minutes. Watch for the loaf to turn crusty, and check your oven frequently.
The loaf is finished when you can stick a toothpick in its center and pull it out cleanly.
Once you have ensured that the loaf is fully cooked, let it cool before removing it from the bread pan.
Serve while still warm alongside a pad of butter or any other spread.
Gluten Free Recipe for Irish Soda Bread
The key to a gluten free Irish soda bread loaf is simple: substitute the original recipe’s flour for the gluten free flour of your choice.
The loaf will retain its delicious, dense flavor, and you’ll be able to share it with your friends who have dietary restrictions.
Irish Soda Bread Recipe Substitutions
Don’t let your imagination stop at “gluten free,” though. There are plenty of opportunities to evolve a traditional Irish soda bread loaf.
You can substitute all-purpose flour for whole wheat flour, if you like, and bring out a healthier taste in your bread.
You can also baste the bread while it is in the oven using the buttermilk and melted butter mixture, ensuring that your bread stays moist as it rises.
If you’re looking for a taste sweeter than the potentially-added raisins, you can sprinkle the top of your loaf with just a touch of granulated sugar.
If you’re looking for a more traditional shape in your Irish bread loaf, as well, you can forgo a bread pan and instead place your dough on a greased baking sheet in a round shape.
Flatten the dough ever so gently, then slice the top in a large ‘X’, and you’ll come away with a loaf that looks as traditional as it tastes.
Irish soda bread is a delicious treat to share with your friends and family, and, as was traditional, it is tremendously easy to make.
Get your knead on and give your home a taste of old Ireland with this delicious, dense, and tasteful bread.
Do you have your own recipe for Irish soda bread?