Leprechauns. Four leaf clovers. A pot of golf at the end of the rainbow….it’s that time of year where Chicago turns the river green to celebrate St Patrick’s Day. There are some food traditions, too, in honor of this day. If baking bread is something you’ve always wanted to do but are hesitant to try it, then this Irish Soda Bread recipe is for you.
This simple recipe has just 8 ingredients in it. Chances are you already have them in your home. If not, a quick run to Tony’s Fresh Market and you are back in the kitchen within the hour. While you can mix the components by hand (building those arm muscles), it is so much easier when you have the help of a KitchenAid mixer. I just swapped out the normal beater and used the dough hook. As the dough begins to incorporate the ingredients, it slowly blends the butter into the dry contents so it doesn’t look crumbly.
Like so many recipes, this bread can be easily customized to make it just the way you and your family like it. Tradition is to make it without raisins or other fruits. However, you are making it to suit your taste. So, add what you like! I’ve made it with golden raisins, craisins and orange zest. All good choices in my opinion. It’s important to know that this is a dense bread which is hearty and filling.
My favorite tool for basting any sauce is a silicone brush. It’s effortless clean up which is the best. Plus, you can use it when you are grilling and putting bbq sauce on your whatever you have sizzling on the grill. You can bake the bread on a sheet pan or stone (pizza). I use the stone as it gives a nice crunch to the bottom of the bread. I like baking cookies on my stone as well. Try it if you haven’t used it for this purpose. Whatever you have or like works just fine.
My recipe is the classic method. I offer Tony’s Wildflower Honey, Irish Butter and jam as toppings when serving it. I’m a big fan of Kerrygold butter. If you haven’t tried it yet, definitely do. I love it on fresh bread. I KNOW you will too! It’s rich and creamy with the taste of European butters.
Now, if you are feeling ready for another bread recipe, here’s one that is also easy but does take longer as the dough needs to rise. It has a crispy crust and soft interior almost like a French bread. It’s super versatile as well in terms of additions to the main recipe. I make it in my Le Creuset Dutch Oven and it turns out so good every time.
Happy bread baking!
Easy Irish Soda Bread
- 4 cups all purpose flour
- 4 tbsp white sugar
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 egg
- 8 tbsp butter cold
- 1/4 cup buttermilk
- 1/4 cup butter melted
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.If using baking sheet, lightly oil. If using pizza stone, oil is not needed with seasoned stone.Mix baking powder, baking soda, sugar, flour and salt together.Add 1 cup buttermilk and 8 tbsp butter. Blend.Flour work surface. Put mixed dough onto surface and knead slightly.Form dough into a round shape.Place on to pan or stone.Using sharp knife, cut an "x" into the top center of the loaf.Combine 1/4 cup melted butter and 1/4 cup buttermilk together. Brush loaf with mixture basting throughout the baking process.Bake 45-50 minutes using a cake tester or toothpick to confirm bread is done when it comes out clean.Remove from oven and let rest on cooling rack.Enjoy!