Irish soda bread is a beloved and traditional Irish loaf which is known for its simplicity and quick preparation. Originating in Ireland, it became a staple during the famine in 1845 as it could easily be cooked in a pot over the fire.
It is made using only four basic ingredients: flour, baking soda, salt, and buttermilk. The magic lies in the reaction between the acidic buttermilk and the baking soda, causing the bread to rise without the need for yeast.
The result is a dense and slightly crumbly loaf with a beautiful crust. Typically served with butter, jam or cheese, soda bread is a delightful accompaniment to breakfast or afternoon tea.
It is also a versatile bread that is perfect for dipping in soups, stews, or simply enjoyed on its own as a delicious snack. Its humble yet hearty nature, has earned it a special place in Irish cuisine and continues to be loved by people around the world.
Here’s a recipe so you can try it for yourself at home.
Soda Bread Recipe:
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 3/4 cups buttermilk
- 1 Preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C) and lightly grease a baking sheet.
- 2 In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt until well combined.
- 3 Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and pour in most of the buttermilk. Using a wooden spoon or your hands, gently mix until a soft dough forms. Add more buttermilk if needed, but be careful not to make the dough too sticky.
- 4 Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and shape it into a round loaf, about 6-8 inches in diameter.
- 5 Place the loaf on the greased baking sheet and score a deep cross on the top using a sharp knife.
- 6 Bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes or until the bread sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.
- Once baked, transfer the Irish soda bread to a wire rack to cool and wrap it in a clean tea towel to keep the crust soft. Serve it warm or at room temperature with butter, jam, cheese or your favorite spreads.
Tadaa…enjoy your freshly baked soda bread! : )
If you would like a brown bread variation on this delicious bread, click here for Bord Bia’s recipe