We love to bake. So, we wanted to share an easy-to-follow Irish soda bread recipe to help you get in the mood to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day while in isolation. Face it – we all need a distraction these days. With sporting events, favorite activities, and daily routines put on hold, things can feel pretty stressful. But that doesn’t mean life should stop. Take today to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with an easy-to-follow Irish soda bread recipe from Simply Recipes (makes one loaf).
Irish soda bread ingredients
- 4 to 4 1/2 cups flour
- Sugar: 1 Tbsp
- Salt: 1 teaspoon
- Baking soda: 1 teaspoon
- Butter: 4 Tbsp
- Currants or raisins: 1 cup – optional
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1 3/4 cups buttermilk**
**Disclaimer: If you don’t have buttermilk at home, don’t worry! You can make your own substitute. Simply use a tablespoon of either white vinegar or lemon juice and mix it into a cup of regular milk.
Time to mix
Preheat the oven to 425F. This recipe should take about 15 minutes to prepare and approximately 40 minutes to bake.
- Whisk flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda thoroughly together in a large bowl.
- Using clean hands, work butter into the mixed dry ingredients. When it looks like course meal, add the currants or rains (if you wish).
- Make a crater in the center of the dough. Add the buttermilk/substitute with the beaten egg. Mix with a spoon until the dough is too thick to stir.
- Cover your hands in a thin layer of flour to keep from sticking to the dough. Gently knead the dough to form a hill or mound in the bowl – if you need some more flour to keep from sticking, don’t be afraid to use it on your hands!
Transfer the mound-ball of dough from bowl to lightly-floured mat
Traditional Irish soda bread is round, so continue working it into a ball – don’t worry about making it perfect, though. Work the dough enough to make sure the flour is moistened and the dough is a little crumbly. It should just be barely sticking together. Try to refrain from over-kneading – the dough could end up tough.
Score it with an X with a serrated knife. This X should be about an inch and a half deep to help the heat get into the center while baking. Place the dough into a greased iron skillet or a baking sheet – not a bread pan. This will let it flatten a bit – that’s perfect!
Ready, set – BAKE
Place the dough into the oven – it should be finished heating up and ready to go at 425F. Bake the dough until it’s golden and the bottom sounds hollow if tapped. Baking should take about 35-45 minutes, so be sure to check the loaf. If you use a cast iron pan, it could take a little longer – those pans take longer to heat up than a general baking sheet.
You can also check the progress by inserting a long, thin **skewer into the center. If it comes out clean, it’s ready.
**If you don’t have a skewer, you can use a couple of strands of dry spaghetti, toothpicks, or, if you’re not concerned about presentation, a chopstick.
Should the top get too dark while baking, use aluminum foil as a tent to keep it from getting darker.
Let the Irish soda bread cool
We know – it’s going to smell amazing. But don’t dig in too early. Let the loaf cool for a little bit. Let the bread sit in the pan/sheet for 5-10 minutes before placing it on a cooling rack.
Once you can’t wait any longer, or it’s cool enough to dive in without getting burned, enjoy!