Irish Soda Bread

Irish soda bread is the perfect thing, when fussing around with kneading and proofing yeast dough is just beyond your time and energy. It is very easy, much like making scones, and uses baking soda as its leavening (thus, its name). You can make it plain, or add whatever other flavorings you would like (cinnamon and raisins would be especially good!). Here I added currants and orange zest (á la Ina Garten), for a slight twist on the classic recipe. In a large bowl I combine 4½ cups of all purpose flour, 1/3 of a cup of sugar, a teaspoon of baking soda, one teaspoon of salt, and cut in six tablespoons of cold, diced butter, until it is about the texture of corn meal. In a measuring cup I mix together 1¾ cups buttermilk, one egg, and the zest of one orange. I pour the wet ingredients into the dry, and mix it until just combined. I add about one cup of dried currants, and stir to incorporate. I turn the dough out onto a floured board, and knead it several times, folding the dough over onto itself to develop flaky layers. I cut the dough in half and form each half into a round ball, and chill them in the refrigerator for one hour. (If you are in a hurry you can certainly skip this step, but I have found that without chilling the loaves turn out a little squat after baking). Take the chilled dough, and, with a sharp knife,  score an “x” into the top of each. Bake at 375º for a little under and hour, or until a wooden skewer comes out clean when plunged into the center of each loaf. I like to serve this bread with homemade orange marmalade to really echo the orange flavor. Whether toasted or plain, hot out of the oven, or cooled, this quick, easy bread makes a fabulous addition to anyone’s kitchen repertoire. Enjoy!

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13 Comments

Filed under Breads, Breakfast/Brunch

13 responses to “Irish Soda Bread

  1. I love simple breads like this…looks wonderful with the jam:)

  2. Yum! Especially with homemade marmalade!

  3. Your Irish soda bread reminds me of my trip to Ireland. The addition of the marmalade is perfection! Enjoy your weekend.

  4. I love irish soda bread. Your post reminded me that I don’t have to wait until March to make it. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Wow….This bread looks so tasty. It’s looks so tasty that make me want to be an Irish now. :D

  6. Simple, fast and easy with lots of flavors – sounds like an ideal bread. Beautiful photos.

  7. Great post! I had a roommate in college who was Irish and would make this from time to time. Yours looks much better than his. Definitely going to have to try this!

  8. My daughter and I love to make Irish Soda Bread. I love the currents and orange zest. The orange would add such a fresh flavor.

  9. Love Irish soda bread. Whatever marmalade you have there looks good, too.

  10. Ruby McLee

    Blast you! I’m supposed to be eating less bread, not more, and by banning yeast in the kitchen I thought I was safe. Foiled again…

  11. Irish soda bread! I remember my little Irish great-grandmother making this.

  12. yeah this bread is one of the BEST things you make. Seriously! it is SOOOO good and simple, and not too heavy or decadent! it is the PERFECT breakfast food!

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