Irish soda bread comes from humble beginnings in the 1800s, made with readily available and inexpensive ingredients like flour, baking soda, and the milk leftover from churning butter. It was often baked in a cast iron pot over coals from a fire, and cutting a 1″ deep X into the top of the loaf allows it to open while in the oven and bake through more evenly.
Irish Soda Bread is great paired with corned beef and cabbage or a hearty Irish stew for your St. Patrick’s Day meal. To take things up a notch add roasted garlic and cracked black pepper for a more savory take on soda bread, and serve with a compound butter. A lemon and honey variation makes for a delicious breakfast, spread with butter and another drizzle of honey or your favorite jam. Whether you go with the classic Irish Soda Bread, Roasted Garlic and Black Pepper, Lemon and Honey, or your own variation – don’t miss out on Irish Soda Bread this St. Patrick’s Day!
Preheat oven to 425°F, and lightly grease or line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large mixing bowl whisk together the buttermilk, egg, and butter.
Add flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Stir until a shaggy dough forms, bringing the dough together using your hands if a spatula or spoon won't cut it, but don't knead the dough (kneading would make the bread tough).
Place dough on prepared baking sheet and form into a 6" round. Use a sharp knife to cut two 1" deep slices, in the shape of an X, into the dough, this allows it to open while in the oven and bake through more evenly.
Bake for 35-40 minutes or the top is golden brown and the edges are deeply brown.
Lemon Honey Soda Bread
Add 2 teaspoons lemon zest and 1/4 cup of honey to the liquid ingredients. Omit the sugar, and reduce the buttermilk to 1 ¼ cups.
Roasted Garlic and Black Pepper Soda Bread
Add 1 Tablespoon of mashed roasted garlic + 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder to the wet ingredients and 3/4 teaspoon of cracked black pepper to the dry ingredients + a pinch more for sprinkling on top of the bread before baking.
Emma spends her days in the Research and Development Laboratory at Organic Valley working as a Product Development Technician and her evenings in the kitchen cooking and baking delicious meals and treats for friends.