Classic Irish Soda Bread

Irish Soda Bread
Irish Soda Bread. Diana Rattray
  • 60 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins,
  • Cook: 45 mins
  • Yield: 1 Soda Bread Loaf (12 Servings)
Ratings

This classic Irish soda bread is great with any meal. It's especially good with a hearty Irish stew or corned beef dinner. It would be fabulous with this Guinness beef stew. Or, use this bread in place of biscuits for breakfast.

Drop an egg on top of a toasted and buttered slice of soda bread or serve slices with creamy sausage gravy.

The bread is essential for St. Patrick's Day meals and celebrations!

What You'll Need

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour, about 19 ounces
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons melted butter

How to Make It

  1. Heat oven to 400 F (200 C/Gas 6).
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt until well combined. Add the butter and cut in thoroughly with a pastry blender, fork, or your fingers. With a fork, stir in the buttermilk until the dough begins holding together. Transfer to a floured surface and knead about a dozen times, just until the dough holds together but isn't smooth. Shape into a ball about 6 inches in diameter.
  1. With a sharp knife, cut a cross into the top about 1/2- to 1-inch deep.
  2. Place the dough ball on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet or in a greased cast iron skillet. Tent it loosely with a sheet of buttered foil.
  3. Bake the bread in the preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking for about 15 to 25 minutes longer, or until a cake tester or toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the center.

Tips and Variations

  • Slice the bread into wedges and serve with butter. It's a perfect bread to serve with a hearty Irish stew or beef stew, or Dublin coddle -- a must for St. Patrick's Day!
  • It's also a fabulous breakfast bread. Toast a slice of Irish soda bread, butter it, and then top it with a poached egg. Or, instead of the traditional biscuits, use this bread with your sausage gravy
  • Soda Bread With Cornmeal - Replace 1 to 1 1/2 cups of the flour with cornmeal.
  • Brown Soda Bread - Use 2 cups of whole wheat flour and 2 cups of all-purpose flour. 
  • Soda Bread With Bacon - Fry or bake 6 to 8 strips of bacon until crisp. Drain the bacon on paper towels, crumble it, and add it to the flour mixture.

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