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Irish soda bread
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Irish Soda Bread


  • Irish Soda Bread
  • yield: one loaf
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees
  • The traditional version of this bread is rustic and meant to be simple just like biscuits. It has a hard crust and sounds hollow when tapped.
  • It’s essentially biscuit dough without adding additional fat except what’s in the buttermilk and the dough is shaped into a loaf instead of small individual portions. There are many Americanized versions floating around but the traditional version used but four ingredients: all-purpose flour, soda, salt and buttermilk. This version uses whole wheat flour, in additional to white, and produces a darker, more flavorful bread. Folk lore has it that you cut an X to get the devil out and a cross if the bread is to be blessed. You need to make a decision about your personal situation.
  • 3 cups buttermilk
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 4 cups stone ground whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups all-purpose soft winter wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt


  • Stir baking soda into buttermilk and set aside. If the mixture bubbles, the baking soda is still good. If it doesn’t bubble, you need to buy more.
  • Place both types flour and salt in a large mixing bowl and stir.
  • Make a well in the center and pour in buttermilk and soda. Stir until the flour is wet.
  • Turn out onto a floured surface. Sprinkle with flour. Knead gently and add more flour as necessary until the dough is no longer sticky. Form into a ball and place on baking sheet that has been sprayed with non-stick spray or is covered with a baking mat.
  • Using hands, press out the dough in a circle that is 1 ½ inches thick.
  • Using a sharp knife, make an X one quarter inch deep in the top of the dough. Lightly brush top with cooking oil.
  • Bake in a preheated 425 degree oven for 25 minutes; reduce heat to 350 degrees for an additional 15 minutes.
  • Cool on a baking rack. For best results, the loaf shouldn’t be cut for 6 hours. Best of luck trying to wait that long.
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