Traditional Soda Bread

Today I'm sharing one of my very favorite bread recipes with you - soda bread! Whenever we go to an Irish pub, I always make sure to order this! Soda bread, unlike most breads uses baking soda and buttermilk to make it rise instead of yeast. The soda gives the bread a very slight tangy and sweet taste, which makes it even more delicious dipped in stew or spread with butter.

If you've ever shied away from breads because you're nervous about yeast, give this bread a try! It's very quick and easy, and perfect for your St. Patrick's Day meal!

A fun little fact: it's traditional to mark a cross into the top of your soda bread loaf before it's baked. According to Irish folklore, this either wards off evil spirits or lets the fairies out! 


4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup butter, cold and cubed
1 3/4 cups buttermilk
1 egg


Preheat the oven to 425 F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Whisk together the flour, salt and soda in a mixing bowl. Cut the butter into the flour mixture until it's evenly distributed. I used my fingers, and moved quickly so I didn't melt the butter. You can also usea pastry cutter or two forks, or pulse briefly in your food processor! So many options haha!

In a small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and egg. Make a well in the middle of the butter/flour mixture, and add the buttermilk mixture. Mix well, first with a wooden spoon and then with your hands. The dough will be soft and sticky, but shouldn't be too wet. If necessary, add a bit more flour.

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured counter and knead lightly and briefly. Shape into an 8-10 inch round. Put the loaf onto a lined baking sheet, and using a sharp knife, cut a cross into the top of the loaf.

Bake for 40-55 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean. When it's done, the loaf will sound hollow when you tap the bottom. Let cool for 10-15 minutes before removing from the baking sheet. Serve warm with salted butter.
Kirsten Bell

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