I’m not entirely sure why, but last week I got an immense craving for Irish soda bread. Growing up I always remember my mom buying soda bread around this time of year to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. From an early age I fell in love with the slightly sweet taste of soda bread mixed with it’s dense hearty texture.
Since it’s been so freezing here on the East Coast over the last week, I decided to whip up a batch of soda bread last night. Despite the instructional YouTube video I watched telling me a perfect soda bread is as rare as a four leaf clover, I was amazed when my soda bread came out near perfect!
Unlike the soda bread that you find in many grocery stores and bakeries, this particular recipe from FoodWishes does not contain shortening. In fact, the bread is actually relatively healthy when you consider it’s mere 2 tablespoons of sugar and butter per loaf.
Though this is not my recipe, I got a lot of requests for the recipe after posting my baking adventure on my InstaStory and decided to post the adapted recipe with my substitutions! In addition, an instructional video from FoodWishes can be found here to aid you should you be curious to try this recipe!
Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!
Irish Soda Bread
Makes 2 loaves
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Recipe adapted from FoodWishes
3 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup old fashioned oats
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cubed
3 tablespoons honey or agave
1 3/4 cups buttermilk
1 large organic, cage-free egg
2 teaspoons orange zest (optional)
1 cup dried fruit (I used raisins, dates, dried cranberries)
* I highly recommend that you watch FoodWishes instructional YouTube video to guide you through this recipe! I found the video super helpful as I made my bread!
1. Place the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Once the ingredients are blended add in the cold butter. Using a whisk, crush up the cold butter until it blends perfectly with the dry ingredients and there are no more clumps of butter.
2. In a separate bowl, combine the honey, buttermilk, egg and orange zest with a whisk. Once these ingredients are blended add them to the dry mix. Toss in the dried fruit into the batter and mix well.
3. Line your surface with flour and remove dough from the bowl. Massage the dough, allowing it to form into a ball, using flour on your hands to avoid the dough from sticking. Using a large serrated knife, cut the dough in half to create two loaves and shape each into a ball.
4. Place the two loafs on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. As the oven preheats, use a large serrated knife to make a cross over the top of the bread, allowing it to rise before it enters the oven.
5. Once the oven is preheated, place the loaves in the oven for 45 minutes or until golden brown. Once the bread is cooked, remove from heat and place onto a cooling rack until the breads are at room temperature and ready to cut.
** Nutritional information will depend on the size and thickness of your slice. To calculate the nutritional information, you can plug in the recipe here.