Every year for St. Paddy’s Day, I try to channel my Irish roots and make one of my husbands and I’s favorite Irish dishes, Corn Beef and Cabbage. If you’ve made it before, you know there tends to be plenty of juice/sauce for dipping bread and butter into and that’s where Irish soda bread comes in. This is definitely the most simplistic bread I’ve ever made (and was actually my first try at bread a few years back) but is quite delicious with stews, the bread for Rueben sandwiches or even enjoyed with a little Irish butter and jam (try my Blood Orange Jam) for breakfast. For a great on-the-go snack for your little ones, you can toast a small slice and spread some nut butter on it. The kids I know, love bread so this could be a little treat for them! Now this is the most authentic recipe I could find and I’ve stuck to it ever since. I’ve modified it slightly for our tastes from food.com. Feel free to swap out half of the all-purpose flour for whole wheat flour (which I usually do when my husband isn’t looking) to boost the nutritional value and add a little nuttiness too. You can easily add raisins to the mixture to make it a little sweet for your little ones too.
Irish Soda Bread
4 cups all-purpose unbleached flour (or half whole wheat flour)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 ½ -2 cups buttermilk + more for brushing
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Grab a large mixing bowl and combine the flour, baking soda and salt. With a whisk or your hands, stir it around to incorporate the ingredients.
Make a well in the center of the bowl and add 1 ½ cups of buttermilk. Using your hands, (this is the best way I’ve found to mix this bread recipe. A whisk just clumped everything together) mix the buttermilk with the flour mixture to form a ball. If the mixture doesn’t seem to be coming together, add a splash of buttermilk at a time until it holds together. Once you have a ball that is pretty well incorporated, place it on a floured cookie sheet. Now pat the dough to form it into a loaf shape. Lastly, before hitting the oven, take a butter knife and score the bread with a large “X” on the top.
Place the bread in the oven for 35-45 minutes until the top is nice and golden brown. About 20 minutes into the cooking time, I brush the loaf with a little buttermilk. This helps keep the outside from getting too crunchy which my husband isn’t a fan of. Once the bread is nice and golden brown, take out of the oven and serve.
Do you have any plans for St. Paddy’s Day? Making any traditional Irish meals? Tell us about it in the comments, we’d love to hear from you!