Irish Soda Bread

16 Mar

Happy almost St. Patrick’s Day!

I really thought about whether to post my favorite recipe for soda bread, since every blog on the planet seems to have already posted one this week. I’m doing it first, because this is a really good, super easy version of the obligatory Irish bread, and second, because I’m afraid not to.

I am, you see, the granddaughter of one Mary Agnes McCann, and she was exactly as you’d picture her: full of fire and vinegar with red hair and blue eyes and a devious streak a mile wide. St. Patrick’s Day was akin to a holy day of obligation in her house, and I am afraid she’ll haunt me (not in a good way) if I don’t let you in on this bread.

This is ridiculously easy, but you really should make it the day or night before you want to eat it. DH attacks it the moment it appears from the oven, so that’s OK too, but I prefer to let the flavors meld together overnight and have it for breakfast the next day.

There are no currants or raisins in this bread. See that Mary Agnes McCann thing up there? Right. No raisins. Just bread, filled with buttermilk, as it should be (soda bread was originally meant to use up all the sour milk in the house in the days before refrigeration). If you don’t have buttermilk, put two tablespoons of white or apple cider vinegar or lemon juice in a measuring cup, and then fill it to the two-cup mark with regular milk. Let that sit 10 minutes and add it to the recipe. It’ll work just fine.

I can’t remember where this one originally came from, but I have messed with it a bit, so we’ll call it mine.

With that, I’m off to hunt leprechauns–I could really use that treasure. Enjoy this bread! You’ll need:

3 cups of all-purpose flour (you can use one cup of white-wheat, but I wouldn’t go whole-wheat with this)

1 tbsp baking powder

1/3 cup sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

1 egg

2 cups buttermilk

1/4 cup butter, heated to the point that it just starts to melt

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees and grease a standard loaf pan.

Whisk together dry ingredients. Add in egg, buttermilk (or substitute) and butter, and mix together until it’s just combined.  It’ll be lumpy. Pour it into your pan. Bake about 70 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool and wrap tightly.

(This recipe also makes great mini-muffins, if you need a treat for a classroom party. Bake them about 20 minutes, depending on your pan. And yes, the batter dyes green well.)

2 Responses to “Irish Soda Bread”

  1. Megan March 17, 2011 at 1:59 am #

    I love Irish soda bread, I like to make it when we have stew. Happy St. Patricks’ Day!

    • claudia March 19, 2011 at 9:27 am #

      I made this recipe with regular flour and I made a gluten free version. Both were fab. Thanks, Kim.

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