Soda bread is a quick bread that uses baking soda instead of yeast as a leavening agent, and is a hearty Irish staple. There are only a few essential ingredients in the traditional Irish soda bread; flour, baking soda, salt, and buttermilk. Some prefer to fancy them up a bit (which I did) by adding raisins, seeds, oats, sugar or eggs. I chose to incorporate raisins into the dough to add some natural sweetness to the bread. Not only is this hearty bread simple to make but it’s healthy too.
With St. Patrick’s Day coming up this weekend I wanted to share a recipe that is perfect for you and your family to enjoy. You can top slices of bread with butter, jam or honey for a nice breakfast or serve it along side some soup or stew.
I tought this bread turned out perfect with a golden brown crusty exterior and moist and fluffy on the inside. It is best eaten freshly baked out of the oven or toasted.
Whole-Wheat Irish Soda Bread
(Recipe adapted from Eating Well)
– 2 cups whole-wheat flour
– 2 cups all-purpose flour
– 1 teaspoon baking soda
– 1 teaspoon salt
– 2 1/4 cups light buttermilk
– 1 cup raisins (optional)
– In a large bowl mix in the whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking soda and salt. Make a well in the center and pour in buttermilk and the raisins. Stir in full circles (starting in the center of the bowl working toward the outside of the bowl) until all the flour is incorporated. The dough should be soft but not too wet and sticky. When it all comes together turn it out onto a well-floured surface. Clean dough off your hand.
– Pat and roll the dough gently with floured hands, just enough to tidy it up and give it a round shape. Flip over and flatten slightly to about 2 inches.
– Transfer the loaf to a greased baking sheet. Using a serrated knife,cut an X into the top of the bread.
– Bake the bread for 20 minutes on 450° . Reduce oven temperature to 400° and continue to bake until the loaf is brown on top and sounds hollow when tapped, 30 to 35 minutes more. Transfer loaf to a wire rack and let cool for about 30 minutes.