This simple recipe for how to make Irish Soda Bread is hot on the blog just in time for St. Patrick’s Day!
Earlier this year I took a peek at my ancestry online. Honestly, I could’ve spent hours looking at all of the details, but I was particularly curious about how deep my roots travel back to the country of Ireland. I knew I had the connection, seeing as how my maternal grandmother’s maiden name was McGillick. Upon reviewing the results, I am 44% Irish, and my bloodline can be traced back to the Ulster province in the northern region. While the remaining percentage is a blend of multiple countries, Ireland is the one country that is a strong definite, and knowing that my heritage is so strongly pointing to Ireland makes me so excited to dig a little bit deeper into studying the culture!
When I was a child, I had the privilege to travel to Ireland for a few days with a group of teenagers. I actually spent my 14th birthday in Dublin, shopping with my friends while popping in and out of stores down O’Connel street. It was such an amazing time in my life, though I wish I had been just a bit older when I went so I could have a clearer memory of all of the things I saw. One thing I will never forget, though, is the day my group spent the entire afternoon and evening at a farm in a rural part of the country learning how to make Irish Soda Bread.
Even at 14 years old, I was quick to notice how simple the process was. Soda bread is a very no-frills type of bread. You only need 4 ingredients to make it, and you don’t even have to knead it! The acid in the buttermilk combined with the soda give this bread a bit of a rise, and the “X” carved into the center is said to ward off the devil in your home. It also helps the center of the dough cook all the way through, but I like the thought of keeping the devil out of my home (and my bread) much better! 😉
The same evening we made soda bread while visiting, we enjoyed the fruit of our labor with a pad of butter, some currant jam and we danced the night away in the barn with local teenagers while listening to Irish folk music. It was magical, and it’s something I love to reminisce on – especially around this time of year.
Here’s a copy of the recipe if you’d like to give it a try!
- 4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1¾ cup buttermilk
- Preheat oven to 424 F
- Grease a round 9 inch cake pan and set aside
- In a large mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients
- Create a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour buttermilk into center
- Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the flour mixture into the wet center in a circular motion, making sure to stir until ingredients are just combined. Be careful not to overwork the dough.
- On a well floured surface, turn out dough and gently work it into a even round shape about 8 inches in diameter. I like to pat a little extra flour on the top of mine, but that's optional.
- Place dough in greased pan and make a cross using a knife in the top of the dough. Place another 9 inch round cake pan on top
- Bake for 25 minutes, then remove top pan and continue to bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until a nice golden crust forms
I could barely wait for my loaf to come out of the oven. Even though there’s not much to Irish Soda Bread, there’s not much better than a warm slice of and a smidge of butter smeared on top. And in my true southern American nature, I smothered a little bit of my homemade Jalapeno Peach Pepper Jelly on top after I buttered my slice. Not exactly an Irish type of jelly or jam, but it was heavenly nonetheless!
If you’re into celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, you might like these posts found right here on Southern Made Simple!