New This Month

Irish Soda Bread

171

Hearty Irish soda bread is easy to make. It's welcome any time of year but is essential on St. Patrick's Day.

  • Yield: Makes 1 loaf

Source: Martha Stewart Living, March 2009

Ingredients

  • 1 1/3 cups whole milk
  • 1/3 cup apple-cider vinegar
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for surface and dusting
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 ounces (4 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup unprocessed wheat bran
  • 1/4 cup caraway seeds
  • 1 cup (5 ounces) raisins
  • Salted butter, preferably Irish, for serving

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Mix milk and vinegar in a small bowl, and let stand until thickened, about 5 minutes.

  2. Whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in a large bowl. Cut in unsalted butter with a pastry cutter or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add bran, caraway seeds, and raisins; stir to distribute.

  3. Pour milk mixture into flour mixture; stir until dough just holds together but is still sticky. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Pat and press the dough gently into a round, dome-shaped loaf, about 7 inches in diameter. Transfer to prepared sheet.

  4. Lightly dust top of loaf with flour. With a sharp knife, cut an X into the top, 3/4 inch deep. Bake, rotating halfway through, until loaf is golden brown and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour, 10 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack. Soda bread is best eaten the day it is made; serve with salted butter.

Reviews Add a comment

  • jennynib
    9 MAR, 2013
    My Gran would probably say that was 'a bit fancy' for proper soda! Here's the family ressup: 1lb plain flour 1 tsp soda 1 tspn salt 1 tsp sugar buttermilk Mix the dry with your hands (no spoons! good bread goes straight to the heart and a mother always holds her family's hearts in her hands) add enough buttermilk to make a soft, not overly mixed dough. Knead gently into a rough round and mark a cross on top (Give us this day our daily bread). Bake 15 mins at 230C and 30 mins at 200C. Sláinte!!
    Reply
  • DeboraHarv614
    14 MAR, 2012
    "The Society for the Preservation of Irish Soda Bread at www.sodabread.info points out strenuously that real soda bread was plain day-to-day food and had no embellishments at all... Common variations of soda bread containing sugar, butter or anyfat, eggs or dried fruit, they say, do not qualify as soda bread but are more properly referred to as fruit bread, spotted dog or railway cake." My Irish Grandmother loved real soda bread.. no embellishments.. slathered in butter.
    Reply
  • k81monte
    8 MAR, 2012
    You can use any acid, like lemon juice to thicken milk. I always use buttermilk because that's what my family in Accony, Co Mayo always do. And omit the bran- totally not authentic. My mam likes carroway seeds; I do not. The "X" in the soda bread allows for expansion while baking but, of course, is not an X. but a cross, because the cross will keep the Devil away. Back on the auld sod, raisins were not always easy or cheap to come by so often this bread was made with none at all.
    Reply
  • MS12540329
    10 MAR, 2011
    I, too, have been making soda bread with buttermilk for many years. I use vegetable oil instead of butter. Always comes out great, and I love it with caraway and raisins.
    Reply
  • katymorag
    3 MAR, 2011
    Been making Soda Bread for 30 years. No butter or raisins. Also buttermilk is used. Raisins are added to give variety but not on a daily basis. The cider vinegar added to the milk is a substitute for buttermilk. Soda Bread can be served with crispy rashers of Bacon and that is delicious. Katy Morag
    Reply
  • MarthaandMeBlogger
    12 OCT, 2010
    I really liked this. It's very different from my family recipe, but I love how it is sort of humbler and more peasant like. You can see my results here: http://marthaandme.wordpress.com/2009/03/17/st-pattys-day-blowout/
    Reply
  • Ijustlovetosew
    11 MAR, 2010
    I would love to have irlandaca's recipe for Irish soda bread. Can we send emails to each other?
    Reply
  • irlandaca
    10 MAR, 2010
    :( Irish soda bread has absolutey no butter in it, and no baking powder either. The caraway seeds and the raisins were used only very sparingly as a treat, but they are not traditional either...
    Reply
  • irlandaca
    10 MAR, 2010
    :( Irish soda bread has absolutey no butter in it, and no baking powder either. The caraway seeds and the raisins were used only very sparingly as a treat, but they are not traditional either...
    Reply
  • Ramina
    2 MAR, 2010
    Why the dough was too sticky to handle?
    Reply