The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Irish soda bread

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gmagmabaking2's picture

We 3 gmas baked "Aunt Rose's Irish Soda Bread"

March 20, 2013 - 1:55pm -- gmagmabaking2

Not our personal Aunt Rose... just clarifying.  We 3 all baked Soda Bread... Barb and Helen spread the wealth to the kids and grandkids... I am spreading something else with Irish Soda Bread toast ... sort of like a cross between biscotti and a scone... Very good... We had fun and amid busy weeks planned actually managed to chat a bit and enjoy each other as much or more than the baking... such great sisters I am blessed with! (and a great brother)... 

Alvaremj's picture

Sourdough Soda Bread?

February 28, 2013 - 4:36pm -- Alvaremj

So I figured I would try and concoct a soda bread with the addition of a starter. I know it kind of defeats the purpose of soda bread, but I'm curious. So here is my question. I know with baking soda it is a chemical reaction which creates leavening as opposed to fermentation.  If i use less baking soda in the recipie will the rise take longer? 

Any and all thoughts are welcome


greedybread's picture

Time for some of the FAMOUS Irish soda bread!!

I have been meaning to make it for ever but keep finding other things to distract me...

All equally delicious and I can't say no!!

This is a fruity one, given my pennant for fruity breads:) but you could easily make it plain .

Irish Soda bread

There is as you can imagine, hundreds of recipes and variations...

Now we could argue semantics and say this is not bread as it has no yeast in it .

However we all know that there are many breads with no raising agents in it...not even baking powder...

Plus I am NOT going to argue with hundreds of years of tradition:)


So without further ado...You will need.....

3 & 1/2 cups of Pure flour

1 tbsp salt

2 tbsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

50 g melted butter

1 & 1/2 cups of raisins

2 tsp of carraway seeds

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

2 cups of buttermilk

Brush with BUTTER and bake!!

What do you do?

Pre heat oven to 175 Celsius.

If you have a big high sided frypan (skillet) then grease it well.

If you have a good, well used  & heavy skillet/frypan, you won't need to paper it.

I used a charlotte tin, greased and lined with baking paper.

Slice while still warm

Combine flour, salt, caraway seeds, baking powder, sugar and baking soda.

In a separate bowl, beat eggs and add in buttermilk.

Combine altogether, don't over mix this!!

Melt butter and leave a little aside to brush on the top of the batter at the end.

Put raisins and melted butter in the batter and quickly mix through.

Place batter in the tin/ skillet , gently brush the top and place in the oven.

Bake for 50-60 minutes and remove from oven.

It will be quite a deep brown.

Allow to cool in the tin for ten minutes and then place on a rack.

Mmmm, nice alone or with apple and cheese
yummmmm, pint of beer and piece of soda bread..
bit of cheese and apple...
Take a bite...
have a piece or slice...

Recipe of gorgeousness adapted from Smitten Kitchen recipe.

P.S. I also made it with my current getting the grain in kick, with one cup of flour omitted and a cup of wholemeal put in....

Just as scrummy and barely noticeable...

A darker color and a slight tangy taste .

Both versions gorgeous with the apple and cheese as suggested!!

HMMMMMM maybe i need to make a beer bread....

hanseata's picture


With St. Patrick's Day approaching I was asked whether I could bake some Irish Soda Breads for A & B Naturals, the store that sells my breads. Never having successfully baked one before - my first trial at King Arthur's "Whole Grain Soda Bread" ending in a brittle brick - I said, of course: "YES!"
"Yes" usually means that I know where to find a recipe, and, indeed, I remembered having seen one in "Cook's Illustrated". I studied the write-up for Irish Soda Bread to find out what had gone wrong with my prior misbegotten trial.
Mixing Irish Soda Bread has nothing in common with making regular breads. Apart from the right kind of flour - Irish white flour is quite low in protein, it has less gluten than American all-purpose flour - it doesn't require yeast but is leavened with baking soda.
Clueless about the true nature of this Irish tradition, I had given my King Arthur bread the usual treatment, kneading the heck out of it, adding more and more flour because it seemed too wet, and then cursing helplessly because, in spite of all my efforts, it strongly resisted being folded and shaped. What finally came out of the oven was a grainy, unappetizing brick that would have surely gone to the dogs if Buffy had already been with us.
Fortunately America's Test Kitchen never fails to take the scary out of cooking. Reading their introduction I understood that, with my uncouth handling, I had debilitated my hapless first trial bread. To achieve Soda Bread perfection the dough had to be mixed like muffin batter, barely allowing the ingredients to come together, before turning it out onto the counter and gently patting it into a round.
Enthusiastically I started preparing my first Classic Soda Bread, following the instruction. Everything went well until I emptied the bowl over the counter. The dough fell apart in larger and smaller lumps, and, also, shed quite a bit of loose flour. When I gingerly started turning it over, trying to capture the loose flour, a band of unruly crumbs broke free, rolling all over the counter.
When I finally managed coaxing all loose flour to stick, and herding back the crumbs that had gone AWOL, the sweat I broke was not only due to the oven heat.
While my bread was baking I looked through all those other Irish Soda Bread recipes I had gathered, and, also, consulted with Youtube. Did anybody know a way to make this procedure less of a crumbly challenge, more streamlined? For baking several loaves at one time? Even using a mixer?
What I read and saw was all hands-on only, even Jeffrey Hamelman described his experiences in Dublin as being "literally up to the elbows " in dough. The idea of handling a large batch of soda dough more likely to resist centripetal forces than submitting to them seemed rather daunting. Moreover, handling it with the gentlest touch!
My Irish Soda Bread turned out very nice, it was well worth the effort. And finally, I found at least a way to make it a little easier to bring the dough together without overworking it

sheshequinn's picture

Hi, Just became a member.  Last night I made Irish soda bread that was wonderful and now I want to try my hands ;) on yeast bread.  Will try the rustic bread as that sounds really cool.  Thanks for the inspiration.

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