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St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner. It’s time to get those dishes ready for a wonderful day of comfort food and dark beer! Traditional Irish soda bread is dense, easy to make and slightly sweet. Added as a side to Irish stew, soda bread pairs well with strawberry jam and completes the traditional Irish meal.

Irish soda bread is made with flour, salt, baking soda, currants or raisins, and buttermilk. Soda bread gets its name from the added baking soda combined with the acidity in the buttermilk, which helps the bread rise.

Soda bread really only last a day or two, so it’s best made fresh with the meal. If you’re planning on making it for St. Patrick’s Day, I would advise baking it the morning of or the night before. It can be frozen for a few months, in an airtight container or plastic wrap. Just like any other bread, Irish soda bread tastes great warmed up, with butter and jam!

This bread can be baked immediately and doesn’t need to rise. It is also the same at sea level as it is at altitude (which is a huge plus for us high altitude people!) I’ve read a few recipes that call for a lot more sugar. This one only contains a tablespoon. I prefer my breads to not be too sweet, especially if you’re adding raisins and topping with jam.

Cook it in a cast iron dutch oven (or deep pan), or place it on a baking sheet. Both work well! Enjoy!

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Irish Soda Bread

Simple, delicious and hearty, this bread is perfect for your Irish celebrations. Pair it with strawberry jam as a side to Irish stew!

Course Side Dish
Cuisine American, Irish
Keyword Comfort Food, High Altitude Baking, Irish, Soda Bread, St. Patrick’s Day
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 6 People

Ingredients

  • 4 Cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 Tbsp Sugar
  • 1 Tsp Salt
  • 1 Tsp Baking Soda
  • 4 Tbsp Butter Cold and grated
  • 1 3/4 Cup Buttermilk Chilled and shaken
  • 1 Egg Lightly Beaten Extra Large
  • 1 Cup Raisins or Currants

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a sheet with parchment paper or butter and flour your cast iron pan. 

  2. Whisk together flour sugar, salt and baking soda until thoroughly combined. 

  3. With your hands or a wooden spoon, add butter and work into flour mixture until course crumbs are formed. Add raisins or currants to the mixture. 

  4. Create a well in the center of the flour mixture and add the buttermilk and the beaten egg. Use a wooden spoon to combine ingredients until a course dough forms. 

  5. On a lightly floured surface, knead dough a few times until workable enough to shape into a round loaf. Do not knead dough too long or the bread will end up tough. Knead just long enough to create a round loaf. Place on pan with parchment paper or in a cast iron dutch oven or deep pan. 

  6. Using a serrated bread knife, lightly cut an X into the top of the loaf. 

  7. Bake for about 45 minutes. It may take a shorter amount of time on a baking sheet and a bit longer in a cast iron dutch oven. Bread will be done when a baking tester comer out clean and tapping on the bottom of the loaf makes a “hollow” sound. 

  8. Place on a baking rack to cool. Serve warm with butter and strawberry jam.